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February 13, 2018

We don’t help girls any more!


February 13, 2018

Islamabad: It was the long awaited rain that started sometime after mid-night on Monday following the unusually prolonged dry spell in Islamabad and in many other parts of the country. A friend of mine, who lives in the suburbs of Islamabad started in his vehicle for his office. Enjoying the steady downpour! As he drove down the road, he saw two young boys, in school uniforms, waiting on the roadside for some transport.

You should know that there is no public or private transport (buses or vans) plying on this road and children usually walk up and down to school and back home.

My friend stopped his car for them, a gesture to which they gleefully accepted because not only they were soaking in rain but they were also getting late for school where they were having the exams.

He dropped them as close to the boy’s school as was possible for him without leaving his own route. Fortunately for the young boys, the school was very close to the main road and they ran off, shouting their ‘thanks’ over their shoulders.

My friend continued on his way to office. After a few kilometers, he approached the bridge on the ‘Korang Nullah’ flowing down towards Rawal Dam. He saw yet another student, all draped in a thick shawl but without an umbrella, labouring slowly in the downpour towards his school.

He stopped the car to offer him lift to his school. But as the student turned his face towards the window of his car, he realised it was a girl and not a boy! Even before the poor student could mutter a word, my friendly hurriedly drove on! He cautiously looked in the side as well as back-view mirrors to ensure nobody has seen him stopping his car close to the girl student.

“Thanks God! There was nobody around to see that I have stopped. Otherwise I could have been mistaken for a ‘child molester’,” he said while shaking head in utter dismay. “What our society is turning into? Parent of four children, including one daughter, I am afraid to help a poor girl child reach her school in such a bad weather,” he said with disgust.

Well, this was not for the first time for my friend of for most of us to confront such a situation neither it is going to be the last. But the recent events starting with poor Zainab case in Kasur and that of Aasma in Mardan (and a series of others reported on media) that followed have shattered us to the core.

Emotionally and psychologically! We wonder if criticising the media for creating such frenzy would fetch criticism or not but we believe the media would have played a much bigger and better role had it highlighted the lacunas and glitches ingrained in our system and the laws, which would eventually benefit the perpetrator of the crime than the victim.

But the worst damage the media has inflicted is the fear impaled in the minds of masses not to get close to girls, especially the girl child! We don’t think all this hysteria on media will work as a deterrent for these ‘child molester’.

But all this has indeed made many like my friend to not reach out to any girl child even if she is crying for help and deserves our whole attention, sympathy and care. Will the Ministry of Health soon be advertising for the services of Psychologists and the Psychiatrists at mass scale to treat a whole nation?

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