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April 14, 2019

People are talking about —


April 14, 2019

— the advertisements shown on television and how these advertisements have a way of perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes by portraying women engaged in gender-stereotypical activities. People say the electronic media is an effective tool for influencing the minds of its viewers and it should show more responsibility in showing content that perpetuates regressive forms of behaviour to keep women out of the mainstream of the development of the country as they can contribute a lot if allowed to do so.

— the rampant cheating that took place during the matriculation exams in Sindh and how the administration appeared to be helpless in doing anything about it. What boggles the mind is why students are allowed to bring mobile phones or pieces of paper into the examination centres and why parents are so oblivious of what their children are doing. People say it goes to show the lengths to which we have fallen as far as integrity and honesty are concerned.

— the many buildings in Islamabad which have been abandoned by the administration and are lying vacant and how the civic authorities are least concerned about the money that has been wasted in their construction. People say there is a dearth of space and availability of venues for entertainment as well as other events, so the administration should get their act together and make these buildings/spaces functional as they can be a source of income for other public projects.

— the anti-encroachment drives that take place periodically and how these are resisted by those who have illegally occupied or built structures on government land by unscrupulous persons. While these drives are justified, the question is, why is the occupation allowed to take place when it is first initiated and that too under the eyes of the administration and law enforcing agencies, so obviously some hanky panky goes on, until some upright person takes notice and action is ordered.

— the news that a university in the capital has launched a ‘say no to plastic’ drive on its campus and how it is a good initiative which, hopefully, will be an on-going process and not just a onetime media show. People say it is a step other educational institutions can follow so that the younger generation is aware of the harmful effects of indiscriminate plastic use and in consequence it will go a long way towards doing something about climate change.

— the fact that Pakistan has many positive stories that don't see the light of day, such as the incredible pool of young talent pushing boundaries in numerous industries and disciplines and how the Forbes ‘30 under 30’ list has named several of them and the work they are doing. People say it is heartening to see these young people being recognized by a reputed platform and the government and media should also encourage them and others who have not been ‘discovered.’

— the widespread use of the drug ‘ice’ and how it has become fashionable for young people to try it out to impress their friends and acquaintances so they are not left out of the various ‘groups’ that are formed in nearly all educational institutions. People say while there is a lot of work going on to curb the menace of illegal drugs, parents need to be more alert of what their children are doing both in and out of the house. — I.H.

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