Saturday May 18, 2024

People are talking about —

By Our Correspondent
April 21, 2024
A view of the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad on January 8, 2022. — INP
A view of the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad on January 8, 2022. — INP

-- how coastal areas are facing serious dangers from human activities that endanger their marine biodiversity, mangrove ecosystem and economic viability since these coastal resources are used extensively but we are not doing enough to preserve and protect them. People say the main obstacles to coastal conservation efforts include the dumping of waste and polluting and deforestation of the mangrove and to combat these challenges, the government, along with civil society, must actively participate in conservation initiatives and implement solutions.

-- the prevalence of child labour in the country, which not only violates international conventions and ethical standards but also perpetuates cycles of poverty and inequality. People say it is distressing to witness children forced into dangerous working conditions, denied access to a normal life and stripped of their dignity, so we must take concerted action on multiple fronts, especially investing in education and creating sustainable economic opportunities for families which can offer viable alternatives to child labour.

-- the fact that while the country struggles with numerous challenges, the staggering amount of food that goes to waste daily remains a significant crisis that demands urgent attention. People say in a country where millions go to bed hungry, the sight of food being discarded without a second thought is not just disheartening but downright criminal, as approximately 36 million tons of food is wasted annually, a shameful fact that manifests a disregard for human life and dignity.

-- the report that Pakistan leads the world in viral Hepatitis C infections and despite the availability of direct-acting anti-virals, accompanied by subsidized treatments, the pervasiveness of the disease remains intact. One of the primary reasons for this is the absence of a comprehensive, wide-reaching screening program to identify the disease in a timely fashion and as thousands of new patients are added every year to the pool of the virus, not enough is offered for their treatment due to delayed initial diagnosis and symptoms.

-- the report that twice yearly, hunters visit Balochistan to trap rare birds, setting up camps in large areas for illegal hunting by using large nets to catch the maximum number of the rare birds, staying for two or three weeks and then shifting them to other areas, either secretly or under the very nose of the local wildlife authorities who try every possible action to dismantle their hunting camps and impose fines on them but they seemingly cannot be stopped.

--- the fact that our most abundant resource is our working age population and how the top-most priority of the government should be to develop and improve this massive reserve of human capital by supporting the development of businesses that make and sell value added finished goods and training them in skills that could get them jobs in EU countries that are short of skilled labour, in which way they could also contribute to improve the economic situation back home.

-- the report that ‘Cash-strapped railways using 100 locos that have outlived their life’ and how experts are saying there is no such thing as ‘outlived.’ Engines are made of cast steel and iron components that can easily be developed in Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works; Heavy Mechanical Complex or the Railway Workshops and as far as funds are concerned, Pakistan Railways owns prime properties, a few of which can be sold, so in reality we have everything to get this done if there is a will to do so.

– I.H.