Tag Archives: social responsibility

Of Humair Ishtiaq, Yasir Pirzada and 50 Minute

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Lying forgotten in the myriad of folders was this blog, which i’m finally publishing….

Today, Sunday September 4th, 2011, Humair Ishtiaq and Yasir Pirzada did what 50 minute hadn’t been able to do. And that is, compelled me to write a blog about the Pakistani Youth. Well yes, I can understand your confusion about the title but all will unfold as this article progresses.

Three oft-repeated statements,

 “Percentage of youth in Pakistan is an astounding 63%…!”

“Pakistan is full of talent.”

“Now the future of Pakistan lies in the hands of the youth…!”

These statements fill us with content that all is not lost and somehow, someone somewhere will brandish a magic wand and fix all the problems of Pakistan and that someone will definitely be from among the talented youth of Pakistan!

Aaah if only wishes could come true!

Muhammad Amir

English: Ali Moeen Nawazish's portrait while s...

English: Ali Moeen Nawazish’s portrait while sitting in living room. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, let’s talk about the huge chunk of our 170 million population: The youth. There was a time when this 63% brought a huge smile on my face and my eyes shone with pride and hope. I always thought about Ali Moeen Nawazish and his great 23 As feat. I recounted with joy how Muhammad Amir was making world records at only 17. Not to forget those young singers performing brilliantly in Indian Singing shows: Sara Raza Khan and Shujat Ali Khan to name a few. These names popped in my mind because I recently attended the Eid special show of 50 minute where the above mentioned sang beautifully and literally won me over. Anyhow the point was that thinking about all the talent that our youth has and then the 63% figure, I was always hopeful until I read the following piece by Humair Ishtiaq in today’s Sunday magazine,

“On the global list of median age, there are 55 countries that have a population even younger than that of Pakistan. As many as 46 of them happen to be African. Among the remaining 9, there are four each in the Middle East and Latin America in addition to Afghanistan.

If youth on it own could do much, Uganda should have been the current superpower of the world for the median age of its population is merely 15 years. And, for good measure, it would have faced tough competition coming from Niger and Mali which have corresponding figures of 15.2 and 15.8 years. But they are economic and political non-entities. Because they are unable to educate the young, who then find it convenient to spend time in the wilderness of a lawless existence. We are naturally, much better off than these ill-fated countries, but if downwards is our only direction, it is only a matter of time when we may get bracketed together.”

An eye opener sure it was. Nations prosper because they possess certain traits like a sense of social responsibility and conscience not because of the high percentage of directionless youth that it has!

Nations prosper because of the calm and dignity that they possess even when faced with crisis whether in the form of natural disasters or economic depressions. China refused to take any foreign aid after the massive earthquake which left thousands dead and millions displaced. Similarly after being shaken by a 9.2 magnitude earthquake, the Japanese displayed immense calm and composure. On the contrary what do we see in Pakistan? Billions flowing in as aid, corruption in millions and so all are unhappy with the government. Media does the emotional reporting and increases its ratings. No doubt, a lot of Pakistanis come forward to help the victims but for how long? The intial few weeks, there’s the hustle and bustle of activity but then the poor people are left to fend for their own. Where are we erring? The successive earthquakes and floods have taught us nothing. We are back to point zero after every such calamity.

Nations prosper because of their ability and training to face hardships. Nations learn from their past mistakes. Have we ever done that? No lessons taken at all from either the military dictatorships or the feeble democracies. No increase in education budgets at the cost of defense. Why are we not learning that education is the solution of all problems? Quality education at all levels will give us insightful leaders and politicians. It will eradicate the menace of poverty and terrorism. It will create awareness among people about their rights and duties. It will create an atmosphere of tolerance where people are not prosecuted against on religious or ethnic basis as is now happening in Pakistan.

And most importantly, it will decrease unemployment and the associated crime rate because meaningful education teaches you the skill to make a living even with no investment at all. (This may sound very foolish, but I have examples where the creative mind was more than enough to create employment opportunities. More on that later). So the bottomline is that we must train ourselves to join the rank of the developed countries and not just say empty slogans. It’s said a slogan kills thinking for 30 years so we must not spend the next 30 years saying that our youth is talented and so Pakistan will get fixed itself overnight when this youth comes to power! Instead we must take positive steps to bring a change!

Nations prosper because of their grace and order. You must’ve met that English babu who went abroad in the 60s and 70s to earn bread and butter but has returned to Pakistan after his retirement. All his sentences begin with, “When I was in England…” and then there’s a long list of virtues that the English possess. They make queues. They consider honking rude. They don’t litter in public places and neither do they let anyone else litter. They follow the traffic rules. They are punctual. Their Police is not corrupt. Their democracy is transparent. Their leaders are accountable and so on and so forth. However that same English babu, when in Pakistan would take pride in deliberately throwing that used tissue paper out of the moving car; he would make sure that he never stops at any traffic lights. Why? Because this is home sweet home. Nobody here, follows rules so why should he? Besides what difference would it make if one person paid the taxes? There are a million others who simply waive them and several million who do corruption with the revenue generated. We are a nation with a dead conscience. We pride in breaking rules and then boast of our not-so-holy deeds. How easy it is for our Interior Minister to say, the situation in Balochistan is not as bad as that of Karachi. Only a few people die or go missing everyday in the former whereas the latter has become a battlefield. What a comparison to give?! We listen blandly to news of deaths, suicide attacks, abductions and bomb blasts and then switch the channel saying, ‘That’s nothing new.’ Excessive and in-depth reporting has made us insensitive.

Then what’s the solution? We need to step up to the challenges at hand. There’s a dire need for awareness among the entire population about the importance of social responsibility. We must stop the blame game specifically blaming the government for all ills because, bitter as it may sound, we are an equal party in the gloomy, dismal condition of our beloved country. We as citizens of the state have certain duties which we are not fulfilling at all. How many of us have ever taken part in community service? Picking up that garbage pile outside our houses; shoveling away water after heavy rains; teaching poor children for free; joining social welfare organizations without the tag of an ‘internship’; helping the poor in long term sustainable ways rather than the short term charity ( teaching people how to catch the fish rather than buying them fishes everyday ); spreading the message of peace and love through our writings, debates, discussions or whichever platform we have; sponsoring children for quality education and there are countless other ways to make a difference. The question arises, are we willing to do so? And then the long list of excuses starts…

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2011 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Motivational session – Project Report

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By Farkhanda Qaiser

Background:

Society of Academic and Research Development (SARD) took an initiative to educate the young kemcolians about the importance of social responsibility by organizing an interactive motivational session, ‘Magic with Medicine.’ This event was held in collaboration with the School of Leadership (SoL) – established on July 1st, 2002 in Karachi but with an outreach all over Pakistan. SoL aims to stimulate conscious endeavor for people to discover and utilize their unquestionable ability to elevate their lives.

Objectives:

The purpose was to motivate the youth to become responsible citizens. If every individual starts doing his own duty then a conscientious society is formed where the rights of all are protected. The name ‘magic with medicine’ was chosen because the case study was taken as medical profession. The young doctors would be encouraged to spread the magic of love and humanity through their medical practice. Moreover, they would be taught the tools to become responsible, skilful and better doctors.

Speaker:

The Senior Associate of School of Leadership, Mr. Umair Jaliawala was especially flown in from Karachi for this motivational session. Mr. Jaliawala has trained over 30, 000 individuals from corporate, education, and development and public sectors. He immediately relaxes his audience, guards down, receptive to learning, before he shakes their paradigms again. His sessions are a roller-coaster journey of change, exercises/games, questions, quotes, challenges and realizations.

Staff president:

The Staff president of SARD, Professor Dr. Riaz Ahmad Warraich provided his moral support in organizing this mega event.

President SARD:

Ahsan Jahangir (4th Year)

Project director:

Farkhanda Qaiser (2nd Year)

Project team:

The project managers, Rabia Zia, Shafaq Tabassum, Iqra Ahmad, Haris bin Akhter and M. Ijaz worked very hard in holding this event.

The project assistants, Hajira Iftikhar, Rameez Irshad, Isna Batool, Humaira Sarfraz, Mohammad Bilal, Namra Tauqir, Nimrah Siddique and Anum Asad helped in announcements and promotion.

The project organizers, Shahbano, Laiba Khalid, Iqra Saeed, Seemab Touqir, Saman Goraya, Mahym Mansoor, Saira Afzal, Aushna Rasool, Mirrah Mushtaq, Maimoona Mohsin, Reema Anjum, Noor Tariq and Zara Naveed carried out hall management.

Sponsors:

This event was sponsored by Qavi Engineers and Dynamic Packaging. The major expenses were the air ticket of the speaker, banners, refreshments and certificates.

Advertisement:

This event was a huge success largely due to the immense publicity that had been carried out by the entire project team. Word was spread through sms, social media (facebook, twitter, linked in, google plus, danka.pk – Pakistan’s events guide), chart papers, flyers all over university and hospital and last but not the least announcements in all classes.Notices were pasted in all wards of Mayo Hospital to publicize this session:

 4 surgical units

 4 medical units

 Urology

 Dermatology

 Psychiatry

 Orthopedics

 OPD

Date: Monday, 1st August 2011

Venue: KEMU auditorium

Chief guests:

Staff President, Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmed Warraich and Event Sponsor, Dynamic Packaging represented by Mr. Waqas Ashraf.

Event proceedings:

The event started at 10:30 AM. The auditorium was overflowing with students, majority of whom were kemcolians however around 40 students from other schools, colleges and universities were also present. (Superior College, Beaconhouse School, University of Central Punjab, Lahore School of Economics, Kinnaird College and many others) The programme was inaugurated by the recitation of the Holy Quran by Muhammad Fahad (2nd year). Then the event host, Farkhanda Qaiser (2nd Year) shed some light on the past achievements of SARD and also the objectives of this session. After that, the speaker, Mr. Umair Jaliawala was called on stage to begin his talk. He used audio-visual content, discussion and exercises to grab the attention of the over 350 audience jam packed in the small auditorium of KE. There were 3 stages of this session.

Stage 1: Getting Involved:

In this, Mr. Jaliawala captured the attention of everyone through exercises and examples. He explained the strength of determination and will in achieving one’s goals by citing the examples of Abdus Sattar Edhi, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Jahangir Khan. These legends started small but their thinking was not small. Their goals were huge and so was their dedication. However there is no gain without pain. This concept was elaborated by comparing with the long duration of time and pain that body builders undergo to make strong, muscular bodies. Then an activity was carried out that surprised and puzzled everyone. The speaker told all the participants to get up from their chairs and TRY to pick them up. All of them picked up the chairs. However, Mr. Jaliawala kept on insisting that do not actually pick up the chairs, rather try to pick up the chairs. And so some of the people started to pretend as if the chairs were really heavy and they were trying to pick them up. But still they were unable to please Mr. Jaliawala who finally explained that there is no such thing as trying. Either you do something or you don’t. And you can’t blame anyone else for how your life is because you yourself are capable of making all the decisions.

Stage 2: Benchmarks

After the audience had become involved and were now actually hanging on to every word, then Mr. Jaliawala moved onto the case study of Japan. In March 2011, there was a Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami which wrecked havoc in the entire country. However, the exceptional calm and dignity that the Japanese displayed in this time of crisis was remarkable. The characteristics that make nations successful were then elaborated upon in detail. Some of them were ability, grace, order, sacrifice, tenderness, training, responsible media and conscience.

Stage 3: Be responsible

Once the basic requirements had sunk in then the point was driven home by motivational videos from Dr. Patch Adams and Tedtalks. Throughout the session, there was a lot of interaction with the students which maintained their interest and piqued their curiosity. Never once did anyone leave the auditorium rather more people kept pouring in despite the fact that no more chairs were unoccupied. They were content to even sit on the floor to listen to this great motivational session and get motivated. Their enthusiasm was evident from the oft-repeated applause that punctuated the talk of Mr. Jaliawala.

At the end of this session, a shield-presenting ceremony was held. The Staff President presented a shield of appreciation to the speaker, Mr. Umair Jaliawala and the representative of the Event Sponsor – Dynamic Packaging – Mr. Waqas Ashraf. Then the SARD president gave the shield to Prof. Dr. Riaz Ahmed Warraich who’d been the chief guest and had attended the entire session.

After this ceremony, all the participants were given refreshments. The certificates were given one week later. This event was also given media coverage by waqt news, shama tv and ARY news.

Magic With Medicine continues…

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Every citizen has the duty to serve his country in any way possible. It doesn’t have to be huge. It’s just the huqooq-ul-ibaad that he has to fulfill. No littering as it might bother someone. No breaking of the queue as it could violate somebody’s rights. No lying or cheating as that would be synonymous to hurting Allah as Allah lives in everyone’s hearts. Fulfilling your positive role in the society – be helpful to your neighbors; teach the poor children for free; take out some time for the underprivileged – the orphans, the widows and the disabled. Stand up for a just cause; for the downtrodden; for the ones awaiting justice and for the ones who have been wronged. Own your heroes; make them feel loved just because they served their country in any field whatsoever, showbiz, sports, education or even social welfare. Be sincere to your job whether it’s that of a tailor or a doctor…not for the sake of appeasing people but for the sake of fulfilling your social responsibility.

What began as a Post YLC project is now being extended to an ‘ongoing’ awareness campaign that would lead to making the Pakistani YOUTH the most responsible citizens ever…!

We’ll be doing this in the following ways:

 

1) BLOGGING about various issues on….

https://magicwithmedicine.wordpress.com/

2) Holding SESSIONS similar to ‘Magic With Medicine’ in different universities and colleges

3) WRITING motivation articles about social issues in magazines, newspapers etc…

and THEN is the Active phase:

DOING active, social projects like, ‘Teach for Pakistan’ and ‘Gogi School bags’ and many more…

So DO LIKE THIS PAGE:

Magic With Medicine https://www.facebook.com/MagicBlogger

How many of you are WITH us in this?

AND if you have any more suggestions, they are always welcome…

Magic with Medicine

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By Farkhanda Qaiser

They say, “Doctors should be compassionate and selfless. They should serve people without even expecting a reward. Thus they should never have come on the roads to ask for a payrise because doing so adversely affected their saint-like image in the society.”

I say, “Well yes, doctors should be Munna-bhai-MBBS cum Dr-Patch-Adams-type but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a family to cater for.  A wife to look after; children to send off to good schools; sky-rocketing inflation to tend to; electricity bills to pay despite using hand fans most of the time and alot more expenses just like any middle-class person of this country!

And let’s not forget the fact that a doctor is one who has studied the most in his life. Most of them have remained toppers all throughout their school and college lives (at least the ones in my university have). They remained shut in books when their counterparts enjoyed their lives. They were the ones who went through the grinding five years of medical education but worse was still to come. The inhumane 36-48 hours continuous duties in hospitals as part of house job.  Serving people day in, day out and doing it so meticulously that sometimes their own families were neglected. After leaving many relatives sour (as perhaps a wedding or two were missed due to hospital duties); spending many a Eid in the ‘Emergency’ or preparing for the Post graduate exams; missing the childhood of their own children as the ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’ Doctor were too busy treating others’ children to have time for their own and countless other sacrifices, THEY still expect us to sacrifice some more…We should be content with the meager amount we get for our services…We, the most skilled and most drilled section of the society should be content with a lowly paid government job…WHY? Just because we are doctors? Just because we took the Hippocratic Oath?

Are we not humans like the rest of you?

Do we not have wishes and needs?

Maybe not, because if we did, then the public would have supported us in our cause like the came out in mass to support the lawyers to restore the Chief Justice…

or Perhaps,  our cause is not flashy enough to the likes of people…

Why is it that our nation supports some causes and completely ignores others? Every single person came forward to help the flood affectees and the earthquake victims before that. Many newly wed brides gave away their gold; children stacked away their pocket money to give for the President or Prime Minister fund; businessmen donated generously;  celebrities came to telethons and generated huge amounts of cash for their suffering brothers and sisters, in short, the entire nation came together for a purpose and they succeeded to some extent. However, their actions were not sustained. After the initial dust had settled, all except a few forgot about any flood or earthquake and whether the victims still needed their help or not. That is how long-lived our motivation was!

We become excited by the preliminary gush of blood but then cooled off…

What is it that we are lacking?

A sense of social responsibility, it is. Every citizen has the duty to serve his country in any way possible. It doesn’t have to be huge. It’s just the huqooq-ul-ibaad that he has to fulfill. No littering as it might bother someone. No breaking of the queue as it could violate somebody’s rights. No lying or cheating as that would be synonymous to hurting Allah as Allah lives in everyone’s hearts. Fulfilling your positive role in the society – be helpful to your neighbors; teach the poor children for free; take out some time for the underprivileged – the orphans, the widows and the disabled. Stand up for a just cause; for the downtrodden; for the ones awaiting justice and for the ones who have been wronged. Own your heroes; make them feel loved just because they served their country in any field whatsoever, showbiz, sports, education or even social welfare. Be sincere to your job whether it’s that of a tailor or a doctor…not for the sake of appeasing people but for the sake of fulfilling your social responsibility.

If we can do this, then no force in this world can stop us from becoming a great nation.

We don’t lack the motivation; we lack the will to sustain it and the direction to use it in.