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- Sunday, November 25, 2012 - From Print Edition


There is a number of old advocates of human rights in Rawalpindi and Islamabad who strongly love Pakistan and hope for the day the shackles of social and economic slavery are actually broken and people feel they are free and independent to make their homeland welfare state as envisioned by Allama Iqbal and the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.


Coming across many such patriots while taking round of city streets on the Iqbal Day and a day after was a good experience. One learnt their focus is on health and education of common people and their children, especially the poor. Similarly, visiting some doctors of the federal capital turns out to be very informative.


For instance, city child’s welfare becomes a topic of discussion among parents who come from various localities to a medical complex near China Chowk for examination and treatment of their ailing children. Some arrive about 20 minutes earlier than asked by doctors concerned. That provides an opportunity for exchange of views on impact of soaring prices of food and medicines on social and economic life and children’s rights. It’s just normal for a pressman to drag doctors also into useful discussion in regard to health, education and rights of children and their future role in the development and progress of the country.


Dental surgeon Dr. Asif Ali, responding to a question, emphasised the need for protection against vagaries of weather and keeping children alive in a clean and healthy environment in all circumstances. “They are the real future of the nation.”


Skin, hair and nail specialist Dr. Mobeen Khan agreed to the view of the surgeon. Both recalled the role of teachers and parents in healthy growth of children into good citizens; one highlighting the importance of strength of teeth and gums while the other cautioning against the use of unwashed and dirty clothes, also advised the parents to ensure that children’s nails are cut and kept clean regularly and hands are washed properly.


“That’s all the more important for overall body-health of a school-going child.” According to child specialists, it’s the duty of parents to send their children to educational institutions regularly in time and take care of them at home as teachers do it at schools. They say: “A schoolchild has to be saved at all costs from falling into a bad company; children are promising sons and daughters of the soil: they have a right to acquire free education up to matriculation and healthcare anywhere in the country until their death.”


Dental surgeons say a child’s strong teeth mean they are without any caries (‘keera’) and lesion (‘choat’), and gums are healthy. A feeder in a child’s mouth during night-sleep may develop caries. Similarly, school children should avoid toffees, chocolates and chewing gums. It is not necessary to use paste every time while cleaning teeth with a brush although tooth-brushing after taking food for a meal is preferable. The general health of children will not be affected if their dental check-up is carried out once in every three or four months. “They’re the real future of the country facing problems; they’ve to be brought up properly.”


Advocates of children’s health, education and rights perhaps want laying of a foundation for social and economic justice as visualised by the founder of Pakistan. Millions of young children say: “We do not know what human rights are because we are not dealt with as humans, we only know we are born to be treated as slaves, to be abused, to be kidnapped, sold, tortured mentally and sexually, education is far away from us because we are given birth by poor women...who will liberate us from shackles of ignorance, poverty, joblessness and disease...who will raise voice for us, we’ll do it ourselves through our own assembly—-the Children’s Parliament.”


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