Tag Archives: ylc

2011 in review


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.

Magic With Medicine continues…


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….


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…


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


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.

YLC Saga – Khamoshi ka Boycott – Day 2 (PART 2)


This post was published in KELLOGS on 13/7/2011.

By Farkhanda Qaiser
We were still bubbling with the excitement of our success when breakout sessions on the many causes and implications of environmental degradation, were announced. I chose the session by Nigaar Nazar – the first Muslim woman cartoonist. Her central character is Gogi which she uses to create awareness among general public on various social and environmental issues. For this reason she has been placed on top of a list prepared by USA’s Cartoonist Rights Network. She has also done comic strips for many journals and television channels. However her work doesn’t stop here. Now, she has started an outreach programme which involves distributing the Gogi school bag among underprivileged students. This bag contains a collection of storybooks and comic strips with morals, made by her and targeting the young ones. One of her books is titled, ‘Kooray ka jin’ which emphasizes upon the importance of cleanliness. Another one deals with the threat of extremism and terrorism. Oh we should keep our children away from this nonsense, you may exclaim. But the fact of the matter is that we’re doing them more harm than good by keeping them unaware of the ground realities. They already see news of bomb blasts and suicide attacks on their idiot box everyday. Infact some of them have been direct affectees of these terror attacks too. So their education is necessary to ensure that they are not brainwashed too some day.
This was the session during which I realized the difference between a trainer and an expert. Mrs. Nigaar Nazar was an expert in her field but she was no speaker who’d know how to control the rowdy group of teenagers sitting before her. She was taking pains to explain her project while some people were simply mocking her and her work. This is our general attitude to change. We resist change and people who talk about change unless they are accomplished speakers like Umair Jaliawala and Kamran Rizvi who know how to tackle the crowd. However this must change too. We must learn to respect people for their work irrespective of the fact whether they can speak about it too. No doubt public speaking is an art which all should master. But we have no right to deride one who can not do so.
Next up was a session by Dr. Nadeem Abidi, an anesthetist and a Success Coach. He was speaking on different levels of leadership. From the dependent stage to the blame game and finally to the ‘Main hoon na’ level – where you take responsibility for everything you do and people depend on you to get a work done. Mr. Abidi then explained us a Cash flow quadrant which since then, I’ve explained to a lot of people because I found it highly helpful. Here it is:
Business Owner
Self employed
Most people never come out of the left side of the quadrant. Either they don’t take direct control of their lives or they never utilize their maximum potential, and thus the unemployment that we decry. For this we may even blame our education system which encourages people to Ace in order to land a good job. But we have to ascend to a higher level of leadership. Being anemployee means you have a job. Being self employed means you own a job. You have not more than 500 people working for you. You are a perfectionist and so are in direct contact with every single employee of yours even if it be a chowkidaar. Your employees are always less capable than you and you instruct them about each and every thing they do. This takes up a lot of time and so reduces the efficiency of the system. Moreover you are also working till late hours and so have less time for your family too. It involves 90 % people and earns 10 % money. On the other hand, the right side of the quadrant is for the people who are empowered. Business owners are people hunters. They choose the best talent to work under them. An excellent example is Bill Gates who dropped out of graduate school and now the best of the best work for his company, Microsoft. However freedom is achieved when a person becomes an investor, which involves a high degree of risk but at the same time, has great rewards too. The investor has assets which are earning money without requiring his presence. Now its 10 % manpower and 90 % money. So the choice is yours.
Mr. Nadeem Abidi has introduced a “Millionaire Mentorship Programme” for the people who wish to move to the right side of the quadrant. He was kind enough to offer this programme for free to the YLCians 2011. We really hope that more people can avail this opportunity and improve their lives for the better.
After that Mr. Abidi gave us all a power nap, while he talked to our hearts. Sleepy we were already so didn’t need much compulsion to go to sleep. Surprisingly, when he gave us all a wake up call a few minutes later, we awoke with a new vigor and without any signs of fatigue at all. I’d really like to know what he did to us. He was just talking slowly and without making much sense but we sure were refreshed after that. Then comes the best part of the session – the part that gave me conviction that I can do anything once I set my mind to it. This is what we said,
Ø Now I am the voice
Ø I will lead not follow
Ø I will believe not doubt
Ø I will create not destroy
Ø I am a force for Good
Ø I am a leader
Ø Defy the odds
Ø Set up a new standard
And say it we did. We kept saying it out louder and louder till we were convinced that we could do it. Mr. Abidi demonstrated the power of the mind and words by a simple activity. He called up a person on stage and asked him to say, “I will try to obey my parents,” while raising his one arm against force. His force was certainly lesser than when he said, “I will obey my parents.” So just by a play of words, our mind is convinced that we can or we can not do something. This is the power of the mind!
And so a great session ended. I emerged from it a completely different person and thirsting for more.
After that there was yet another activity planned by djuice. I call it the ‘Zipped up’ activity. As 2 members from every team were taken aside and their mouths were taped up. Then we teased them endlessly and tested their patience while they could not say a word about it. This enabled us to understand the helplessness that people feel when they are unable to voice their words.
However the Green day had not yet ended. We were in for still more surprises when we were told that we’d be setting up our dinner ourselves. Every team was given its own task. Some had to set up tables and dishes in thelawn. Others had to clean up after the dinner. Still others had to go around giving massages to people. But the dinner itself was very unique. It was the manifestation of a langar. There were neither any chairs or plates nor many varieties of food that we normally got at Sheraton. We were given spare newspapers in which we kept our rotis and spread daal on top of it and so ate like our poor brethren who are given free langar at darbars. It was a very spiritual experience and provoked us all to ponder over our extravagant lives and those of the less fortunate.
As djuice is a major sponsor of YLC so we performed yet another activity for Khamoshi ka boycott. Each team made 3-4 minutes plays highlighting any social aspect which needs to be corrected like traffic jams, the menace of dowry, smoking etc.
And finally we moved to the last session of the day which was by Sohail Zandani – another famous name in the training world. He had a unique style in which he asked questions and incited people to speak up. He believed in love for all and respect and appreciation for others. Further he advised us to stay hungry and stay foolish, which meant that always be eager to learn. He has established a Learning mind group for people who want to groom their personalities.

Thus the second day of YLC came to an end. Keep tuned in for more updates.

The YLC Saga Continues – Go Green – Day 2 (PART 1)


This post was published in KELLOGS on 13/7/2011 and was appreciated by the motivational speakers Umair Jaliawala, Dr. Nadeem Abidi and many more who attended YLC 2011.

By Farkhanda Qaiser
Day 2: Environmental Leadership
6:30 AM Yoga exercise
8:00 AM Breakfast
9:00 AM Understanding environmental degradation with Tofiq Pasha Mooraj
10:30 AM Panel discussion
11:30 AM Tea time
12:00 PM Shehzad Roy and Djuice Team
1:00 PM Lunch and Zohar Namaz
2:00 PM Activity time
3:00 PM Breakout sessions
4:30 PM Session with Dr. Nadeem Abidi
6:00 PM Asar Namaz
6:30 PM Corporate Kacheri
7:40 PM Maghrib Namaz
8:00 PM Environment friendly dinner and Isha Namaz
10:00 PM Breakout plays
11:00 PM Capacity Building with Sohail Zandani
Walking bare foot; silently raising hands instead of clapping and hooting; eating environment friendly food and doing khamoshi ka boycott, that’s what the YLCians did on day 2, the day of environmental leadership. A day that began as early as 6:30 AM. Unfortunately I was in too deep a slumber and slept all through breakfast as well. Much to my distress, later I was told by my teammates that I had missed an excellent session of yoga and an even better breakfast by the best chefs of Sheraton. So for me the day had started with plenty of guilt and anger at my lazy self. To add salt to my wounds, my sweet YF just shook his head to show his displeasure and not a single harsh word! God! Was I wallowing in self pity?! At that time, Tofiq Pasha Mooraj – The Environmental expert- was on stage and trust me he wasn’t making things any better for me. So, I got talking to a team mate who was very enthusiastic about joining army in the near future. Nevertheless, my Kemcolian germs would not let me rest. So I’d keep jotting down interesting points that I’d catch from Mr. Pasha’s discussion. I know he did say something about fossil fuels being limited and the fact that water conservation must be encouraged. But more than anything he said, my focus was on that cute grey pony tail of his. Pardon me for this insignificant observation but that grey lump of hair tied neatly into a few inch ponytail sure is a rare sight in Pakistan. My emphasis is on grey here! Okay I know I’m rambling but deal with it. I’m no environment freak so I would generally not even understand half the discussion that went on even If I had been listening. Yet, I do believe in cleanliness and no littering around. My friends and family are quite fed up of me as I even force them to tuck the garbage in their bags until they find a dust bin. But a little tidbit for the environment freaks, Mr. Pasha has had 30 years of experience in horticulture and water management. He has even introduced high revenue crops alongwith judicious use of water in different parts of Sindh. So he is something of a revolutionary in the green world. Do Google him out and learn about his various works. Get inspired. And get working!
Thankfully by this time, I had shaken off my sleep and was actively listening to and participating in the ongoing discussion. The representative of PSO was elaborating upon the new fuel – E 10 – that PSO had introduced to minimize environmental pollution. However, we, the youth of Pakistan would not buy anything so easily. We questioned him thoroughly on the quality of E 10, its price difference from the normal petroleum and how it would be environment friendly. Another panelist of this discussion was Mr. Rabnawaz, an American convert who had been living in Pakistan for almost a decade so he was aware of the ground realities. While answering one of the queries, he made an offhand remark that Pakistanis should stop consuming Chinese goods to penalize China for its non-environment friendly habits. I’m sure he was caught off-guard by the strong reaction that his remark evoked among the general audience. Many participants were of the view that America is a bigger contributor of global warming and pollution so if anyone must be boycotted economically, it must be America. Moreover Chinese goods are of much cheaper prices and thus their popularity among the majority of the poverty and inflation stricken Pakistanis. Therefore there is no way that we can support the ban of Chinese products. We must approach the developed countries on other platforms like UNFCCC to emphasize the importance of green measures. So overall this was a very fruitful and informative discussion that we had. It sure proved that the Pakistani Youth are very much aware of the world around them. They may be the products of the rote learning education system but they’ve certainly not limited themselves to their textbooks. The best thing about YLC was that it had stirred our inquisitive nature. I remember by the last day, there were so many people with questions that Kambha literally had to wrest the mic from them due to time constraint.
While the Q & A session was going on, I noticed that Shehzad Roy – the famous singer – quietly entered the hall and sat on one of the front chairs. His entrance had largely gone unnoticed as all were deeply engrossed in listening to Mr. Rabnawaz’s clarifications. I, on the other hand, had gone near the stage to take pictures of the speakers and thus knew that a renowned celebrity was now among us. It was very hard to contain myself from shouting out loud because I’ve been a huge fan of Shehzad Roy since time immemorial. I had grown up with his songs and could never in my wildest dreams, have imagined that I would one day see him live. Moreover I was deeply impressed by his humble entry and that too without shoes! (Remember we were celebrating bare feet and no noise pollution day) So as soon as the seat next to him was vacant, I jumped onto it, which made him jump too…! His innocent reaction made me smile and I thought I should apologize. But then my mouth went dry. All the million things that I’d wanted to say wouldn’t reach my lips. Even my vast debating experience could not come to my rescue. Just then, my friend whom I’d asked to take my picture with Shehzad Roy, popped up with the camera and asked us to say cheese…! Click! And my time with my dream celebrity was over! I was shoved away to make space for the long queue of awaiting fans with cameras. You see, now everyone in the hall knew about his presence. Not long after, he was called up on stage by Bilal Nazar Sibtain – one of the YLC champs. Mr. Roy was wearing a black djuice shirt with the slogan, “I’m Armed and Dangerous with my words and with my voice” written on the front. He had come as a brand ambassador of the djuice – khamoshi ka boycott – programme. So he also expressed his personal attachment to this programme and how this was much needed for the social conditions of Pakistan. He further said that he had been directly affected by the recurrent loadshedding which had blown up his costly musical instruments just a few days ago. Most importantly we came to know a fact that no amount of googling would have provided us. The fact that Mr. Roy usually wears torn socks! However luckily for him, that day his socks were perfectly whole. Then on audience demand, he also sang a few verses of his famous songs, ‘Tera mukhra’ and ‘Laga re.’ After that the participants who had been sponsored by djuice were given exclusive time with the legendary singer. All the others were turning green with envy and fighting with Maddy – a YF – who was guarding the gates. But as soon as the gates were opened, the more enthusiastic of us rushed forward only to find out that Shehzad Roy had left. But we weren’t ones to give up. We ran all through Sheraton, bare foot, to reach the entrance where some people were still taking pictures with him. Under normal conditions, we weren’t allowed to cross that doorstep but now was the time for extreme measures…! So we went for it and there we were, for the first time in our lives, standing on the pavement with no shoes, eagerly jumping to take photos with The Djuice guy aka Shehzad Roy. I had already taken a picture with him but my cousin hadn’t been able to so we had gone through all this exercise for her but sadly to no avail. Because just then, his car came and he had to leave! I really wish he had stood for just a few more seconds, but then I guess he must have some important place to go to as he had already been held up for quite some time. So I forgive you Mr. Shehzad Roy. I hope my cousin does too…! And all those people who hadn’t been able to capture him in their cameras do so as well.
Aah celebrity life must be so hard. You can’t seem to make everyone happy yet you try.

Thinking such heavy thoughts, we proceeded towards yet another delicious lunch. After lunch, Urooj Mazhar – another YLC champ – explained the ‘Tanzeem activity’ that we’d be doing now. In this activity, every team consisting of 20 members were required to stand on 4 chairs and a chartpaper placed on the ground. Not only were we to stand but also to move around and complete the circle without stepping on the carpet below. Our YFs were going to judge our progress. The activity did seem impossible but we believed that nothing is impossible if given enough time. So we began stacking the chairs in every possible formation to ensure that maximum number of people could stand on it and also move around. After that was the time for the balancing act. And finally to complete the circle in a disciplined way. And VIOLA… we had done it…! During this activity, we learned to trust our team mates that they’d not let us fall and if we did fall then there’d be lots of hands to catch us. This was faith. It taught us unity that we can achieve anything if we are united. And last but not the least; discipline is very important for success. So there you go, we had lived the YLC slogan, Imaan, Ittehad, Tanzeeem and Inqilaab…!