Stories about NGO’s

Stop globetrotting and look towards your IDPs this Eid, Mr Prime Minister

Last year, they were celebrating Eid in the comfort of their respective homes, surrounded by friends and family. This year, they will have to make do with whatever they can in their camps. Last year, they had new clothes to wear and new toys to play with. This year, the children will find themselves lingering around camps, not really sure of what to do. Many might not even be aware that it is Eid. Such is the plight of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of North Waziristan. Imran Khan announced that he will spend his Eid day with the IDPs. Although this is a great ...

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Beat the price hikes with vegetables of your own

The connection between humans and plants is as sacred as any religion in the world. They are our ‘fellow beings’ and for better productivity, it is important to understand the divine logic behind a human-plant relationship. When proper care, love and affection is extended towards them, they reciprocate the love by giving us fruits, vegetables and flowers. The recent soaring prices of vegetables have raised drastic concerns among the masses. Tomatoes have touched a record high of Rs180 per kilogramme (kg), potatoes for Rs60 per kg and onions for Rs100 per kg. The reasons behind this uncalled for price hike ...

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Parkour boys of Quetta: Fighting fear… like a boss

I didn’t really know what parkour was, until I came across a recent article about some boys from Quetta’s Hazara town who practise this activity. I had come across references to free running (a more acrobatic version of parkour) on television previously, but since I’m the kind of old soul who believes that doing anything which might result in a serious injury is a cry for attention, I never gave it any. It had an aura of belonging to the seedy world of graffiti, tattoos, drugs and gangs and I am, as I mentioned earlier, an old soul. After reading the article and watching ...

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Do you have a toilet in your house?

Almost two and a half billion people in the world do not have toilets in their homes or lack access to proper sanitation facilities. South Asia makes a significant contribution to these staggering numbers – 65% in India, 53% in Pakistan and 45% in Bangladesh. Not only does this result in adverse health-related problems, like malnutrition and diarrhoea, it also severely affects the economy. On an average, countries in South Asia lose 6% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) because of poor sanitation. Though many people in the region consider this lack of proper washrooms a major problem, it is not the health-related issues that worry them. ...

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Women are responsible for domestic abuse, not men

It’s an age old story that women are the main victims of abuse. Over the years, many NGOs, awareness projects and feminists have forced laws to be passed against female victimisation. We have all blamed men for abuse, who are seemingly the dominant sex and similarly, many steps have been taken to make women realise that it is the men who are at fault. So, why then are women still subjected to abuse, even though they are aware of their rights and are more liberated than before? Why are they not raising their voice against domestic abuse? And also, are men really the main cause of abuse? These questions ...

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An open letter to the Sindh Chief Minister: Tharparkar needs you, Sir

Dear Sir, I wonder how you sleep at night, because I am, honestly, having a tough time sleeping peacefully these days. I have visited Tharparkar a few times. And every time I came back, it took me a long time to get the images of Tharparkar out of my system. You and your government, Sir, have visited one too many times. These people have voted for you and trusted you. I wonder how you get those images out of your system. I will not be unfair. So I have to say that visits to interior Sindh have told me enough to say ...

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Begging: Pakistan’s new profession for kids?

They keep navigating from one car to another, knocking at your car windows and doors until you pay attention to them. This is the time when we are waiting for the traffic signal to turn green. They make sure their appearance is seen and not ignored. They are adamant and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Every summer I come down to Pakistan to spend time with my grandparents, and on my way home from the airport, I feel disheartened looking at these children navigating between cars. These are the handicapped young children on the streets of Pakistan asking for alms. The secret of getting ...

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Young global leaders: What it means to the common man

An author from Counterpunch says,  “After all, despite the pretentious claims of improving the state of the world, Davos is really little more than a posh mountain retreat held for global elites hell-bent on preserving their own privileged class positions.” Likewise, YGL is about picking leaders who will perpetuate the inequities of the world through an anti-poor economic order governed by neo liberal philosophy of privatisation, taking subsidies away from the poor, and making the world an association of large global malls and corporations. Thus the question is wrong. “Do the four chosen from Pakistan (Maryam Nawaz, documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, founder ...

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More than bills and laws

There is still a lot that needs to be done in order to empower women of this country, which goes farther than organising events at five-star hotels to highlight women-related issues which are known to everyone, or the gushing praise showered on the passage of bills for the protection and empowerment of women’s rights without their enforcement. I am really tired of covering day-long events, arranged at these hotels, in which the representatives of this so-called democratic government and various NGOs share grocery-lists of work they have done to empower the women of this country. But as I step out of ...

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Why are our female MPs against women’s rights?

A couple of days ago, Kashmala Tariq shut down the reproductive bill, on the basis of religion, stating that it was an issue of ‘sensitive’ nature. Now, either our MPs don’t know what reproductive rights include or they don’t care to develop enough grey matter to analyse and have proper debates. Not to worry; here is reproductive justice 101 just for you. Reproductive justice recognises that women’s reproductive health is shaped by the socio-economic conditions of their lives. This includes conditions like human rights violation, race, sexuality, and status that they have in the country they reside in. It teaches that unless we solve all these issues, ...

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