Sunday October 01, 2023

People are talking about —

August 15, 2022

— the fact that libraries have not been established in many small towns because they are not considered important. People say libraries are crucial for enforcing a culture of reading and education and many students prefer studying or preparing for exams at libraries in a studious environment instead of at their homes. Unfortunately, since there are no libraries and students do not have access to any other extracurricular activities, most of them end up spending their free time on their phones.

— the news that the Punjab Chief Minister has announced senior citizens and special persons will be provided free travel facility in the Orange Line Metro Train, while women and students will also pay subsidized rates. People say at last someone has realized that a majority of senior citizens are not privileged and taken a step to help them, so hopefully more facilities of this nature will be provided for them so they can stress less about monetary problems.

— the controversy about the astroturf being removed from the hockey stadium in Lahore because of the PTI having decided to hold its independence day celebrations there and how the ‘for’ and ‘against’ sides are arguing over the merits and demerits of the matter. People say the argument that after ten years the turf was showing signs of wear and tear, plus the fact that the good portions will be used elsewhere and not wasted, is one that satisfies some and angers others.

— the devastation caused by heavy rains all over Pakistan and how those who are running the affairs of the provinces need to rethink their priorities. People say a warning was issued about an unusually heavy monsoon spell this year but political entities have been so busy blaming each other for the economic mess and other issues that bring them mileage, they have totally ignored civic problems because it is not they who suffer but the poor and marginalized sections of society.

— the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) which has been known as the insignia of transparency and competency in the realm of civil service but now the recent general tests for FIA and IB have put a dent in this reputation as many wrong answer ‘keys’ were uploaded for these tests. People say, where even a single mark decides the fate of a candidate, three to four wrong answer keys will indeed deprive a deserving candidate of his due right.

— the revamped version of the national anthem, considered to be one the best in the world, which will be released on Independence Day. People say there were numerous comments on social media about the change as many citizens were afraid that the words, as well as the inspiring melody, would be altered but organizers reassured us it was only the presentation that was being changed and this fact did not please those who think the anthem should be sung in Urdu and not Persian!

— the announcement that a modern stadium will be built in Mian Channu, the hometown of Commonwealth Games and Islamic Games javelin throw gold medallist, Arshad Nadeem. People say while this is a great way to show appreciation, the government should also help athletes with monetary support so that they can improve their talents, as many of them cannot afford to leave their jobs and pursue a career in sports since they have to look after their family needs. - I.H.