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Saturday November 27, 2021

KU to have ‘vehicle-free day’ every week

November 24, 2021
KU to have ‘vehicle-free day’ every week

At least one day of each week will be observed as a “vehicle-free” day at Karachi University from next month to highlight the importance of walking as a healthy habit, while lectures will be given to students from the next semester on the benefits of physical activity, Vice Chancellor Dr Khalid Iraqi said on Tuesday.

“We have decided to mark at least one day each week as a no-vehicle day at the University of Karachi from the next month to promote the habit of walking and for the betterment of the environment. We would also ask our faculty to highlight the importance of physical activity during lectures in classrooms from the next semester,” he said while addressing a seminar on diabetes at the campus.

The vice chancellor, along with faculty members, students and a medical team led by Dr Abid Hassan and Dr Akmal Waheed, also took part in a symbolic walk, which started at the administration block and culminated at the KU medical centre. An awareness seminar followed, which was addressed by Dr Saif-ul-Haq from the National Association of Diabetes Educators of Pakistan (NADEP), digital health guru Dr Zakiuddin Ahmed Dr Akmal Waheed and others.

Prof Iraqi said he would also try to make the campus a “soft drink-free zone”, and efforts would also be made to make a healthy and environment-friendly university, where cigarettes, soft drinks and unhealthy food would not be available to students and faculty.

He said the varsity administration and its faculty were trying their best to promote awareness about health and preventive measures among the society, adding that last month they held seminars, walks and awareness events regarding breast cancer, and now they were highlighting measures to prevent diabetes.

“Universities are supposed to give policies and practical solutions to problems facing nations, and Karachi University has taken the lead in this regard,” he said and urged the authorities to ensure the provision of clean drinking water, which can prevent scores of diseases.

NADEP President Dr Saif-ul-Haq said that during the last 18 months of Covid-19, over 13 million Pakistanis had become diabetics, and added that if people did not change their dietary and living habits, millions more would become diabetics in Pakistan.

“We need to change our habits – both dietary and lifestyle. There is something absolutely wrong with us and we need to fix that. The prevalence of diabetes is the highest in the world and that is quite alarming,” he said and urged the people to eat less and walk more to remain healthy.

Dr Zakiuddin Ahmed called for the use of technology in dealing with epidemics and the burden of disease being faced by the country, saying that besides technology, people should go back to basics, which meant they should eat simple food, walk more, go to bed and rise early.

Cardiologist Dr Akmal Waheed said walking daily for 45 to 60 minutes prevented people not only from diabetes but also from cardiovascular diseases, psychiatric illnesses, neurological disorders and many other diseases, including infectious diseases.