Friday July 12, 2024

Shehzad Roy made population, family planning ‘brand ambassador’

By Oonib Azam
January 11, 2022
Shehzad Roy made population, family planning ‘brand ambassador’

KARACHI: From stealing our hearts with his music to clinching our reverences with his passion for education, Shahzad Roy, it seems, has always tugged at the heartstrings.

Now the philanthropist has become honorary brand ambassador for population and family planning. In a notification, Ministry of Health Services, Regulations and Coordination says: “Reference to the 5th meeting of Federal Task Force on Population headed by honourable President of Pakistan, Mr Shehzad Row, renowned singer and social activist has been named as honorary brand ambassador for population and family planning.”

According to a projection of the United Nations, the population of Pakistan could reach to an uncontrollableand alarming level of 403 million by 2050. It is unimaginable to think how the government would be able to provide employment, water, public transport and food to so many people in the country, when the provision of these basic necessities is a challenge even today with a population of 207 million. Roy with his untiring services for the field of education fits best to aid the Prime Minister Office in devising strategies for population control.

The 45-year-old ageless star was initially known for only his nostalgic love songs but his legacy has been further extended by his humanitarian works and services in the education sector. He has remained on the forefront of activism for several years.

In the year 2018, he represented Pakistan at the 61st session of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna, Austria. In March 2018, he was awarded his second Sitar-e-Imtiaz.

He received his first Sitar-e-Imtiaz in 2005 for his humanitarian work and excellence in public service. For his organisation’s rehabilitation work after 2005 massive earthquake. Roy has always been very vocal against child abuse and rampant child hitting cases in the country. He is of the opinion that the hitting culture in our society has extended to a level that the idea has taken root in our minds that issues can only be resolved through violence and beating.

He stresses on establishing a strong child protection unit, under which the police and the health, education and social welfare departments should work. He believes that when child abuse occurs in the school or at home, it is less a law and order issue and more a societal one, which is why the social welfare department has to step forward.

In a major reform for the education sector in Sindh, Roy’s Zindegi Trust successfully helped the provincial government change the teachers performance evaluation format for government primary schools.

There’s an Annual Confidential Report (ACR), based on which, every government official is assessed for their performance and given a promotion.

However, the problem is that the ACRs of police, teachers, doctors and other government employees are similar. This means that a policeman and a teacher are evaluated under the same generic criteria, notwithstanding the altogether different nature of their work.

Singer, activist and Zindagi Trust founder Roy took up this issue with the Sindh government, and now Sindh is the first province to approve a new teacher performance evaluation format for government primary schoolteachers, including teachers of basic pay scale nine to 15.

The nonprofit Zindagi Trust now seeks to get new evaluation formats approved for teachers of secondary schools and colleges.