جنسی تعلیم اور ہمارے دوغلے رویے

sex-educationhttps://www.dawnnews.tv/news/1053191

گزشتہ دنوں کا ذکر ہے، میرا 14 سالہ بیٹا میرے ساتھ بیٹھا ٹی وی دیکھ رہا تھا۔ جب ٹی وی پر خاندانی منصوبہ بندی سے متعلق اشتہار چلا تو میں نے عادتاً چینل تبدیل کر دیا۔ اس نے بھی قصداً یوں ظاہر کیا جیسے کچھ دیکھا نہ ہو۔

کچھ دنوں بعد ایسا ہی ایک واقعہ اس وقت پیش آیا جب میری آٹھ سالہ بیٹی نے خواتین کے سینیٹری پیڈز کا اشتہار دیکھنے کے بعد معصومیت سے پوچھا، “امی یہ کس چیز کا اشتہار ہے۔” ساری لڑکیاں کیوں کلاس میں خوشی سے گا رہی ہیں۔ اس سے پہلے کہ میں کوئی جواب دیتی، میری والدہ نے بات بنائی، “فضول سوال نہیں کرتے، چپ کر کے اپنا پروگرام دیکھو۔”

جس معاشرے کے ہم پروردہ ہیں، وہاں جنس، بلوغت اور اس سے متعلق آگاہی دینا معیوب بات سمجھی جاتی ہے۔ تعلیمی اداروں میں بچوں اور نوجوان نسل کو ان کے جسم میں رونما ہونے والی فطری تبدیلیوں کے بارے میں بتدریج درست معلومات دینا تو کجا، ہم تو اپنے گھر اور خاندان میں بھی ان بنیادی موضوعات پر بات کرنے سے کتراتے ہیں۔

جب بچے بلوغت کی عمر کو پہنچتے ہیں اور ان کے جسم کے اندر مختلف تبدیلیاں رونما ہوتی ہیں تو اس حوالے سے تجسس پیدا ہونا فطری عمل ہے۔ ایسے میں والدین کا دقیانوسی رویہ، روایتی اساتذہ اور نصاب، بچوں کے اس تجسس کو مزید ہوا دیتے ہیں۔

پڑھیے: ‘فحاشی کے خلاف ‘جنگ

ایسے میں زیادہ تر بچے غیر معیاری مواد، عریاں فلموں اور فحش ویڈیوز کی طرف مائل ہوتے ہیں اور مزید ذہنی خلفشار اور جذباتی ہیجان کا شکار ہو جاتے ہیں۔ اس حوالے سے جب نوجوانوں سے بات ہوئی تو دلچسپ انکشافات سامنے آئے۔

30 سالہ ٭صائمہ نے بتایا کہ لڑکپن سے پھوپھی امی نے یہ خوف دل میں بٹھا دیا تھا کہ اچھی لڑکیاں فضول سوال نہیں کرتیں، پس ان کی ہدایت کے مطابق میں ہر لمس، ہر انس سے شاکی رہتی۔ اس فوبیا کی وجہ اماں کی مبہم ہدایت بھی تھی کہ باحیا لڑکیاں کسی کو پاس پھٹکنے نہیں دیتیں ورنہ سزا کے طور پر بچہ پالنا پڑتا ہے۔

اس فوبیا کی شکار صائمہ کی خانگی زندگی بری طرح متاثر ہوئی اور وہ آج تک اپنے شوہر کے ساتھ ایک خوشگوار ازدواجی رشتہ استوار نہ کر سکیں، البتہ وہ اپنے بچوں کو اس حوالے سے بہتر اور حقیقت پسندانہ تعلیم دینے کی خواہاں ہیں تاکہ ان کے بچے ایک نارمل زندگی گزار سکیں۔

28 سالہ ٭سمیر کے اس حوالے سے تجربات مزید تلخ ہیں۔ والد کی بے جا سختی، اور والدہ کی پردہ پوشی نے انہیں باغی اور گھر سے دور کر دیا۔ اوباش دوستوں کی صحبت میں سمیر نے خوشی اور تسکین کی تلاش میں محلوں اور بازاروں کا رخ کیا اور جسمانی طاقت کے لیے مقوی ادویات کا۔ آج ایک مقامی ہسپتال میں ایڈز میں مبتلا وہ اپنی زندگی کی جنگ لڑ رہے ہیں اور اپنے والدین کو اپنی اور اپنے جیسے دیگر نوجوانوں کی تباہی کا ذمہ دار سمجھتے ہیں۔

انٹرنیٹ اور موبائل کے اس دور میں جب ہمارے نوجوان ایک انگلی کی جنبش پر دنیا سے جڑے ہیں اور ہر قسم کے گرے اور بلیو لٹریچر تک بلا امتیاز رسائی رکھتے ہیں، ہم اسی بحث میں الجھے ہوئے ہیں کہ آیا اپنے بچوں کو بلوغت اور جنس سے متعلق تعلیم دی جائے یا نہیں، یا انہیں محض وقت اور زمانے کے رحم و کرم پر چھوڑ دیا جائے۔

گزشتہ دنوں ایک مقامی چینل پر مارننگ شو میں ایک معروف اینکر کی معیت میں دو مولوی حضرات اس بات پر نوحہ کناں تھے کہ چھٹی اور ساتویں جماعتوں کی سائنسی درسی کتب میں نظام تولید، اعضائے تولید اور جنس سے متعلق اسباق شامل ہیں جو سراسر آئین اور نظریہء پاکستان کی توہین اور فحاشی پھیلانے کے مترادف ہے۔

پڑھیے: مدد کی طلب

یہاں بحث یہ تو ہو سکتی ہے کہ یہ تعلیم بچوں اور نوجوانوں کو کس عمر میں، کس زبان میں، کہاں اور کیسے دی جائے، ان میں کن اخلاقی، لغوی اور تہذیبی پیچیدگیوں کا خیال رکھا جائے، لیکن اس بات پر کوئی دو رائے نہیں کہ جنسی صحت اور بلوغت سے متعلق بروقت اور مکمل آگاہی بچوں اور نوجوانوں کو باشعور اور محتاط بناتی ہے اور بے راہ روی سے دور رکھتی ہے۔ اس میں نظریہءِ پاکستان کی خلاف ورزی کہاں ہے؟

جب بھی یہ نکتہ اٹھایا جاتا ہے تو ہمارے ہاں قدامت پسند طبقے کو پرانے زمانے کی ‘اخلاقی اقدار’ یاد آ جاتی ہیں کہ کس طرح گھر میں ان مسائل پر بات چیت کرنا نہایت معیوب سمجھا جاتا تھا۔ مگر قدامت پسند افراد یہ بھول جاتے ہیں کہ اس زمانے میں ان چیزوں پر بات بھلے نہ کی جاتی ہو مگر بارہ تیرہ سال کے بچوں اور بچیوں کی شادی کروا کر انہیں براہِ راست عملی زندگی میں ضرور دھکیل دیا جاتا تھا۔ کیا بچوں سے ان کی بلوغت اور اس سے متعلقہ مسائل و نکات پر بات کرنا نابالغ بچوں کی شادی کروا دینے سے بھی زیادہ غلط کام ہے؟

ستم تو یہ ہے کہ شادی کے موقع پر لاکھوں روپے محض نمود و نمائش اور دکھاوے پر خرچ کیے جاتے ہیں، لیکن اس تمام تر اہتمام میں ازدواجی رشتے میں بندھنے والے جوڑے کی آگاہی اور شعوری تعلیم محض کتابی مفروضوں، فلمی قصوں اور دوستوں کے ناقص مشوروں تک محدود ہوتی ہے۔

نتیجہ یہ نکلتا ہے کہ اکژ شادی شدہ جوڑے ابتدا ہی سے بے جا توقعات کے باعث جذباتی ناآسودگی اور خلفشار کا شکار رہتے ہیں اور ایک دیرپا رشتہ استوار نہیں کر پاتے۔

جن لوگوں کو اس تعلیم و آگہی میں حیا باختگی نظر آتی ہے، کیا وہ انسان نہیں ہیں یا اعضائے تولید و جنسی مسائل سے ان کا کبھی واسطہ نہیں پڑا؟ آخر ایسا کیوں ہے کہ ہم اپنے بچوں کو سگریٹ اور شراب کے نقصانات بیماریوں کے نام لے لے کر گنواتے ہیں تاکہ وہ ان سے باز رہیں، مگر جنسی مسائل کی بات آتے ہی سب کو سانپ سونگھ جاتا ہے۔

پوچھا جانا چاہیے کہ کیا بچوں کو سگریٹ کے نقصانات بتانے سے بچے نشے کی لت میں مبتلا ہوجاتے ہیں یا نہ بتائے جانے سے؟ عقل تو یہ کہتی ہے کہ نہ بتانے سے۔ تو یہی کلیہ جنسی مسائل کی تعلیم پر بھی لاگو ہوتا ہے۔

غرض یہ کہ بحیثیت معاشرہ ہم نے بہت سے دیگر معاملات کی طرح، جنس، بلوغت اور انسانی تخلیق سے متعلق اہم اور فطری موضوعات کو بھی اپنی قدامت پسندی اور لاعلمیت کی وجہ سے شجرِ ممنوعہ قرار دے دیا ہے اور اس حوالے سے مکالمے کو فحش، تعلیم کو غیر ضروری اور جبلی تجسس کو گناہ کا نام دے کر اس کے جملہ حقوق اشتہاری، بازاری اور مذہبی ٹھیکیداروں کو دے دیے۔ نتیجہ ہمارے سامنے ہے۔


*شناخت کے تحفظ کے لیے نام تبدیل کر دیے گئے ہیں۔

ارم حفیظ نجی تعلیمی ادارے میں اسسٹنٹ پروفیسر ہیں۔

دبئی چلو: پاکستان سے ہجرت انتخاب یا مجبوری ارم حفیظ

ایک زمانہ تھا جب “چلو چلو دبئی چلو!” کے نعرے نے بڑی مقبولیت پائی۔ جسے دیکھو بقچہ اٹھائے، ملک خداداد سے نالاں، قسمت سنوارنے ، زندگی بنانے دبئی، متحدہ عرب امارات اورسعودی عرب کا رخ کرتا تھا۔

وقت کا پہیہ گھوما ،زمانے نے کروٹ لی، انسانی تخیل کی پرواز نے لمبی اڑان بھری اور پاکستانیوں کی ایک بڑی تعداد امریکا، کینیڈا، آسٹریلیا، نیوزی لینڈ اور انگلینڈ، عرفِ عام میں ‘ولایت’ کا رخ کرنے لگی۔

بچپن میں ایک سہیلی تھی، تین بہنوں میں سب سے چھوٹی۔ من موہنی صورت والی۔ اس کے ابا پڑھنے ولایت گئے اور ایسے گئے کہ کبھی واپس نہ پلٹے۔ پر اب تو معاملہ ہی دوسرا ہے۔ ہجرت شوق نہیں مجبوری بن گئی ہے۔ گو دیس کے مقابلے میں پردیس میں زندگی خار زار ہے، نہ نوکریاں آسانیاں سے ملتی ہیں، نہ گھر پر نوکر چاکر کا سکھ نصیب ہوتا ہے، کیسے کیسے وہاں جا کر ایسے ویسے بن جاتے ہیں۔ غرض یہ کہ نئے سرے سے نئے ملک کے رواج کے مطابق تعلیم حاصل کرنا اور ہنر سیکھنا ہر ایک کے بس کی بات نہیں ہے۔

پڑھیے: کیا بنگلہ دیشی پاکستانیوں سے آگے نکل گئے ہیں؟

ان ترقی یافتہ ممالک میں رنگ و نسل اور عمر و ہنر کے حساب سے مقابلہ ہمہ و قت سخت اور وقت کم رہتا ہے۔ یہی معاملہ بینکار رضا اور ان کی اہلیہ کے ساتھ ہوا، جو ایک پرتعیش زندگی گزارنے کے باوجود پاکستان کے سیاسی او ر معاشرتی حالات سے نالاں ہو کر اپنے بچوں سمیت آسٹریلیا منتقل ہوگئے اور دو سال گزرنے کے باوجود اب تک نہ تو اپنے شعبے میں نوکری حاصل کر پائے، نہ وہ پر سکون زندگی جس کے خواب انہوں نے ملک میں دیکھے تھے۔ لیکن اپنی تمام تر قربانیوں اور تکالیف کو وہ اپنے بچوں کے روشن مستقبل کا صدقہ سمجھ کر بخوشی سہہ رہے ہیں۔

35 سالہ ماہر نفسیات عمارہ نے حال ہی میں کینیڈا کے راستے کھلنے پر اپنی زندگی نئے سرے سے شروع کرنے کی ٹھانی اور اس دور دراز برفیلے دیس میں جا کر بس گئیں جہاں انہیں کچھ اور ملے نہ ملے بحیثیت ایک غیر شادی شدہ خاتون، معاشرتی دباؤ اور خاندان کے بے جا طعنوں سے نجات ضرور مل گئی ہے۔

حکومت پاکستان کے جنوری 2016 میں کیے گئے حالیہ سروے کے مطابق، قریباً 7.8 ملین پاکستانی بیرون ملک مقیم ہیں جو کہ ملک کی آبادی کا اوسطاً 4 فیصد بنتا ہے۔ ان بیرون ملک پاکستانیوں میں سے ایک بڑی تعداد مشرق وسطیٰ میں رہائش پذیر ہے۔ ایک محتاط اندازے کے مطابق سال 1971 سے 2015 کے درمیان تقریباً 80 لاکھ پاکستانیوں نے قریباً پچاس کے قریب ممالک میں رخت سفرباندھا جن میں سرِفہرست سعودی عرب، متحدہ عرب عمارات، بحرین، کویت، عمان، قطر، برطانیہ، امریکا اور کینیڈا ہیں۔

نائمہ علی 40 برس کی ہیں۔ ایک ممتاز پاکستانی بینک کی اعلیٰ نوکری چھوڑ کر وہ حال ہی میں اپنے خاندان کے ساتھ امریکا جا بسیں۔ وجہ جاننے پر یوں گویا ہوئیں “امریکہ میںِ زندگی قدرے محفوظ اور بچوں کا مستقبل روشن ہے۔ ان کے پاس کام کرنے اور تعلیم کے ان گنت مواقع موجود ہیں جو کہ میری ہجرت کا اصل مقصد ہے۔”

پڑھیے: تارکینِ وطن کب تک ‘خود غرض’ کہلائیں گے

تاحال نائمہ ایک انڈین ہوٹل میں کام کر رہی ہیں اور اکثر اپنے خاندان، خصوصاً ماسی کو یاد کرکے روتی ہیں۔ تاہم ان کے نزدیک زندگی سے بڑھ کر کچھ نہیں۔ علی جو کہ نائمہ کے شوہر ہیں، ان کے لیے یہ فیصلہ نسبتاً اور بھی مشکل تھا۔ خصوصاً اس تناظر میں کہ وہ پاکستان میں ایک نجی ادارے میں آئی ٹی ہیڈ کی حیثیت سے عمدہ مراعات حاصل کر رہے تھے اور اب امریکا میں سیکورٹی گارڈ کے طور پر روزگار کمانے میں مصروف ہیں۔ عمیر کے بقول ہجرت کی کڑوی گولی اپنے ملک میں فرقہ وارانہ تعصب اور ٹارگٹ کلنگ کی کی وجہ سے نگلنی پڑی جس کا شکار ان کے اپنے بھائی اور کزن ہو چکے ہیں۔

سچ تو یہ ہے کہ کو ئی بھی شخص اپنا گھر، ملک اور خاند ان چھوڑنا نہیں چاہتا لیکن جب وطن میں رہنے کی قیمت عدم تحفظ اور ہمہ وقت خوف کی صورت میں دینی پڑے، جب اپنے ہی دیس میں آپ کو رنگ، نسل، فرقے، مذہب، مسلک اورزبان کے نام پر غیر کر دیا جائے اور مختلف مکتبہ فکر سے تعلق رکھنے کی پاداش میں آپ کو جان کے لالے پڑ جائیں تو ایسے میں اپنے پیاروں کی خاطر رخت سفر باندھنا ہی پڑتا ہے۔

اقوام متحدہ کی رپورٹ کے مطابق، پاکستان تارکین وطن کی تعداد کے اعتبار سے دنیا میں چھٹے نمبر پر ہیں۔ بیرون ملک مقیم پاکستانیوں کی بہبود سے متعلق شعبے کے 2016 کے اعداد و شمار بتاتے ہیں کہ گزشتہ ایک سال میں ملک چھوڑنے والے پاکستانیوں کی تعداد میں 20 فیصد اضافہ دیکھنے میں آیا ہے۔ سال 2015 میں تقریباً دس لاکھ پاکستانیوں نے تلاش معاش کے غرض سے ملک سے ہجرت کی ۔ ان پاکستانیوں میں ایک بڑی تعداد اعلیٰ تعلیم یافتہ، ہنرمند افراد کی تھی جنکی تعدادایک اندازہ کے مطابق سالانہ 40 سے 50 ہزار کے قریب ہے۔

پڑھیے: یورپ کی میٹھی جیل

ماہرین کا کہنا ہے کہ لوگ اکثر بہتر روزگار کے مواقع اور معاشی آسودگی کے لیے دیار غیر کی راہ اختیار کرتے ہیں اوردربدری کی صعوبتیں ایک پرسکون اور روشن مستقبل کی چاہ میں اٹھاتے ہیں۔

اس حوالے سے بحرین میں مقیم ابصار کا کہنا ہے کہ پاکستانی نو جوانوں کی ساری زندگی روٹی، کپڑا اور مکان کی تگ ودومیں گزر جاتی ہے۔ زندگی کی بنیادی ضروریات کی عدم موجودگی میں اعلٰی مقصد حیات کی کو شش خیال خام لگتا ہے۔ جبکہ بیرون ملک معمولی نوکریاں کر کے بھی فرد واحد اپنی اور اپنے اہل خانہ کی باعزت طریقے سے کفالت کر سکتا ہے۔ ان ممالک میں ایک عام آدمی کو علاج معالجے اورتعلیم کی وہ سہولیات حاصل ہیں جو ہمارے یہاں محض امرا ء کے لیے مخصوص ہیں۔

ایسے میں اپنے وطن، اپنے پاکستان میں معاشی اورمعاشرتی انصاف کے ساتھ ایک پر سکون اور آسودہ زندگی کی خواہش ہر تارک وطن کے دل میں بستی ہے اور وہ سوچتا ہے کہ کبھی تو وہ دن آئے گا جب وہ اپنے گھر پورے یقین کے ساتھ لوٹے گا۔

تادم تحریر تو یہ آس دیوانے کا خواب معلوم ہوتا ہے جس کے پورے ہونے کی مو جودہ ملکی پس منظر میں کوئی صورت نظر نہیں آتی۔


ارم حفیظ نجی تعلیمی ادارے میں اسسٹنٹ پروفیسر ہیں۔

RIZ10 گھنٹے پہلے

her watan chor kar janae wala wapsi ke raste khule rakh kar jata hai,, magar wapsi shazo nadir hi hoti hai.. bahar ka lifestyle wapis apne mulk main adjust hone nahi deta,, taleemyafta log merit aur opportunities ka na hone ki wajah se bahar ka rukh karte hain,,

ذوالفقار9 گھنٹے پہلے

آپ افریقہ بھول گئی ہیں یہاں یورپ سے زیادہ لوگ بستے ہیں

AZMI BILGRAMI8 گھنٹے پہلے

Bilkul baja farmaya apny jab apny dais mn app ko kabhi zaban ki aur kabhi mazhab ki bunyaad p mardia jai to eisi condition mn pardais hi acha lagta hy

RIZWAN SABRI6 گھنٹے پہلے

yehi log hein jo watan ki badnami ka sabab bantay hain khatray to sab logon ko hein ,in ko pata nahi kia marz hay , ab pakistani wapis aarahay hein aur yeh parhay likhay befaqoof bacho k future k naam pey bahir jarahay hein pakisatn aur europe mein koi elaida khuda to nahi jo pakistan mein kuchh nahi kar saktay wo bahir kia karain gaay

KHAN5 گھنٹے پہلے

السلام علیکم: اللہ ہمارے وطن کو گل وگلزار کردے تاکہ ہمارے پیارے اس کو چھوڑ کر پردیس میں دربدر نہ ہوں، آمین۔ خیرخواہ

AMJAD IQBAL5 گھنٹے پہلے

Dear Ms. Aram, i like your blog but me khod Oman me ik achi compney me job karta ho, me 2012 me graduate howa ta, or 2015 tak menay bohot jaga per apply keya pakistan me laken koi response nai mela, har jaga per Pakistan me serf sefaresh ki zaroorat hoti hai, warna kon apna mulk chor k jata hai, apna family apna dost apni jaga, pora ka pora bachban jaha guzara ho waha sa agar koi khoshi sa jana chahta hai tu os insan ko agar bahadur kaha jai tu ghalat nai ho ga, mane yaha bohot sa log dake hai, jis k sat zeyate tu hoti hai na wo apna gar ja sakhta hai na yaha per sokoon sa hotay hai, 40 sa 50 degree me kam karta hai, or salary milna par gar baj detay hai, tu labour ko kuch be nai milta. me samjta ho k ye sare ghalti hamree khod hai ham na apna oper jo hukumran musalat keya hai tu hamara sat hona be yahe chaheya, ye kuch family hai jo sare pakistan pe hukumrani karta hai, pher be log vote de rahe hai, or na to army wale kuch kahta hai na koi Intelgence wale, sab dokay me hai pakistan me

Society: Dubai chalo, again?

dubai-chaloThey say nobody leaves homes unless home is the mouth of a shark. But for many Pakistanis, living in the country is still tantamount to living among sharks. Around 8.7 million Pakistanis live abroad, a large majority of them in the Middle East, according to statistics released in 2016 by the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis. Clearly, the ghosts of militancy and terrorism continue to haunt millions of Pakistanis despite the gains made during Operation Zarb-i-Azb.

Eilya is a 45-year-old woman who used to be an accountant working for a leading Pakistani bank. She moved to the United States last year after tragedy hit their family. “My youngest brother and two cousins were killed in a bomb blast at an imambargah in Karachi during Muharram. [The incident] changed our lives for good and we decided to move.”

Today, Eilya works at an Indian-American restaurant, doing everything from serving customers to dishwashing and cooking. She often misses her comfortable life in Pakistan but consoles herself with the thought that at least she doesn’t have to live in perpetual fear. “There is no threat to my safety or that of my loved ones. I feel far more secure in America than in Pakistan,” she laments.

Despite a nationwide crackdown against militancy, security and economic concerns continue to compel citizens to seek newer pastures
Software engineer Syed Absar, 30, has been settled in the UAE for the past six years. His reasons for migrating are similar: the mental cost of living in Pakistan was becoming unbearable. “I hated living in constant fear in Pakistan. Now when I am out for work, at least my family is not worried that I might get killed over a mobile phone or a car.”

Experts confirm that people usually migrate for better opportunities and economic conditions, even if they have to live in miserable conditions as second class citizens. For Pakistan, this is certainly the case, although of late it is buffeted by security concerns.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs estimated that Pakistan has the sixth largest diaspora in the world. According to the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, “there is an evident increase of 20 percent between 2014 and 2015 in the number of Pakistani migrants to the Middle East and other countries. Approximately one million Pakistanis migrated in 2015 alone for better employment as compared to 752,466 migrants in 2014.” Earlier, in 2012, the Pew Research Center’s survey revealed that Pakistani-Americans have become the second-fastest- growing and seventh-largest group in the US. According to the Norwegian government, around 32,000 Pakistanis migrated to Norway in 2011 alone.

These figures point to the painful reality that a large number of qualified and technical professional continue to leave Pakistan even in this day and age. Although brain drain from Pakistan is commonly associated with the Dubai Chalo (Let’s go to Dubai) phenomenon of the late 1960s and 1970s, the slow trickle of professionals moving away from Pakistan continues almost 50 years later. And while industry in Pakistan was nascent back in the 1960s, a sustained outflow of professionals means that the country’s employment market fails to utilise skilled and unskilled labour.

From 1971 to 2015, approximately 8,771,567 people migrated to at least 50 countries for employment opportunities. The maximum number of Pakistanis went to Saudi Arabia (2,885,295) in search of gainful employment. This was followed by the United Arab Emirates (4,429,510) and the United Kingdom (1,174, 983). Other popular destinations included Oman (652,743), US (363, 699), Kuwait (181,455), Canada (155,301), Bahrain (143,625) and Qatar (125,386).

There are about 8.7 million migrants living abroad but the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis claims that around 3.5 million citizens moved abroad in search of jobs over the past five years alone.
Here’s the kicker: there are about 8.7 million migrants living abroad but the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis claims that around 3.5 million Pakistanis moved abroad in search of jobs over the past five years alone. On a yearly average, this figure includes 40,000 to 50,000 professional and technical workers. These young and middle-aged professionals are willing to go any country, where they can live a peaceful and respectable life with equal opportunities. For a majority, it is no more a choice but a quest for survival.

A nationwide poll in 2015 indicated that “around 47 percent Pakistanis are eager to leave the country due to deteriorating socio-economic conditions and uncertain political situation.” Quite often, the lure of a foreign passport and a fascinating life in distant lands entices migrants to reach their destination by hook or by crook. Besides security concerns, the presence of civilized systems and processes, easy access to basic necessities, a better quality of life, peace of mind and chances for equal opportunities and growth are some of the key factors that attract youth to the idea of immigration.

“Common people struggle throughout their lives for roti, kapra and makaan in Pakistan,” argues Absar. “My son was born in a government hospital in the UAE and the standard of healthcare services here is equal to the best private hospitals in Pakistan.”

“We opted to leave Pakistan despite our well-paid jobs and a circle of close friends and family back home in pursuit of a secure and prosperous future for our children,” says Tariq, who moved to Australia with his family about two years ago.

Like most immigrants, Tariq knew he’d have to pay a heavy price for this decision in terms of his career and comfort zone. “It is not easy to start from scratch in an alien country specially when someone has crossed their teens and 20s and has acquired a certain position in native lands.” And yet, he has no regrets: “It’s worth it because the greatest reward is a blue [Australian] passport and a dual nationality.”

Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine, January 8th, 2017

Psychological Impact of News Coverage Related to Terrorism: Implications for Pakistan

my recent research article about the impact of news media on viewers published in the American Psychology Association journal, 2015 issue

THE AMPLIFIER MAGAZINE

Erum Hafeez Erum Hafeez

Erum Hafeez, PhD
Institute of Business Management, Karachi, Pakistan
erum.hafeez@iobm.edu.pk

Considering Pakistan’s strategic position as a leading ally in the “War Against Terrorism” the country has been subjected to frequent terrorist attacks and suicide bombings for over a decade.  An increase in the intensity of these attacks since September 11, 2011 has caused millions of Pakistanis to lose their lives, families and homes.

With the advent of 24/7 news television channels in 2002, following the media privatization policy of General Musharaf’s government, it is currently possible for the electronic media in Pakistan to cover terrorism incidents live with powerful visuals.  Advancements in technology have also improved the coverage of news via other media interfaces (printed and electronic); now news reaches the masses as it happens, giving them the feeling of being present at the incident.

During the last decade, terrorism related news has been extensively covered by Pakistani news…

View original post 860 more words

Thirty-something and still single…! The Dilemma of a Single Woman in Pakistan

12193456_919961874720163_85618113653447462_nIt is Uzma’s 35th birthday. Sitting in front of a mirror, apparently, she is looking at her reflection; but her mind is voyaging through the various phases of her life. Life has been kind to her. She has a loving family and good friends’ circle. Bright and bold, Uzma wants to live an independent and happy life.
However, in her mid-thirties, she feels as an old spinster with recurring depression spells. Most of her friends have got married, busy in their lives, with children. Some even pursue their careers after marriage. However. Uzma is still single with a challenging career path.
There are many educated girls like Uzma who have become the victims of double standards in Pakistani society. While modern age advocates equal rights to education, work, and life for women; learned and career-oriented females are usually labeled as being difficult, mean and strong-headed when it comes to the selection of life partner.
Mostly “domestically trained (salikamand) beauties” with Bachelor’s degree and sound background are “in high demand” in the marriage market, said Mrs. Azmat, a seasoned matchmaker based in Karachi. The ideal marriage age for girls is defined between 18 and 25. Obviously, many girls cross the age bar while pursuing higher education and professional path. “For them, finding a suitable match is a challenge if they opt for arranged marriages, “she added.

Besides, the rigid standards of beauty defined by boys and their families such as a fair damsel (Gori Chitti Larki) with big eyes, roman features, slender figure and long hair, are simply unrealistic.
Mrs. Tariq, a renowned matchmaker said, “Beauty is the primary criterion for the acceptance of a girl. They are mostly rejected on the ground of appearance and looks”.
When girls reach the marital age, they have to go through frequent “drawing room tests’ to pageant themselves. In the name of matchmaking or `bur dekhawwa’, they are ruthlessly displayed and regularly rejected unless chosen by appropriate suitors and their families. Demands of boys’ families increase in the direct proportion to their financial status and degrees. Especially if a boy is having a foreign degree, job or nationality, he and his family is looking for a highly qualified ‘hoor paree’, exceptionally created for him.
No one, except a girl, can understand how this painful parade shatters her personality and shakes her confidence. Regardless of the socio-economic background, most of the girls have to go through this humiliating phase.
It seems that the sole purpose of a girl’s life is to get married and bear children. So those who get a good match ‘rishta’ at an appropriate age are considered blessed. While others consider a liability, no matter how independent and talented they are.
The hypocritical standards related to family honour and women’s modesty affect every aspect of women’s lives. From the childhood, daughters are trained to behave, hide their emotions and avoid interaction with men. There is a constant surveillance and stricter rules for girls as compared to boys in general.
“We are brought up with the fairy tales, propagating ideals such as “good girls never express their feelings” and they must wait for their “prince charming to come and salvage them”, Sana (30+ single) commented scornfully. However, many-a-times, their dreams are never realized, especially if they are average-looking with a modest background.
As a girl gets older and chances of her arranged marriage are being diminished, same parents encourage their daughter to give her guards and choose a life partner of her choice. Many single girls in their thirties are often inquired about their potential colleagues, old class fellows and distant cousins. But their guardians often don’t realize the fact that by that time it’s very hard for their daughters to change their deep-rooted notions and find a prince charming on their own.
Amira, a psychiatrist, said that many unmarried girls experience “self-pity, depression and anxiety” as they cross 30 due to undue family pressure and social expectations
Career is crucial for girls since it provides them social security and financial independence. So many educated girls give priority to their profession. However, there are still many families where girls are discouraged to work as it is believed that it makes them less eligible for marriage.
It is a bitter reality that educated, career-oriented women are never considered a good match in our society. Even highly qualified boys prefer modern, qualified housewives. Those, who can accompany them in social gatherings, bear and rear their children and look after their homes, with no personal ambitions.
So many talented, qualified and ambitious girls in our society end up as spinsters. They are often made to choose between marriage and career. As Uzma commented bitterly, “I have reached the age where I don’t wish to marry anymore. I just want to be independent, adopt a child and live life to its fullest. Is our society ready to let me live my life on my own terms?”

A man who dares to live his dream

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Entering the cool environs of Tofiq Pasha Mooraj’s home provided much needed respite from the sweltering heat. Built on his 6.5 acres farm, an oasis in Malir, about 45-minute drive from Karachi’s city centre, every nook and corner and the various artifacts strewn carelessly about the living room seem to tell a story and describe the owner.

At times one had to crane one’s head to hear the pony-tailed Mooraj over Bob Dylan music coming from an inner room. Dressed in blue jeans and white T-shirt with (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah’s sketch and a catchy tagline, “Bring Jinnah Home” the bearded, slender fifty-something Mooraj appears every bit a non-conformist.

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Zohare Ali has known Mooraj for over two decades and describes him a “classic bohemian,” who cares little about “money, status or power.” It is this rare quality that distinguishes Mooraj from others although people have often taken undue advantage of his generosity,” Ali said. After his early education at the Habib Public School, Mooraj studied horticulture at the Sindh Agricultural University, Tando Jam, and learned about cultivation and processing of tea, coconut and rubber in Sri Lanka.

“You can’t take the boy out of the farm or the farm out of the boy,” he said. His farm was more like a soul in a body which he inherited from his father. Mahboob Mooraj and Serene Mooraj, his parents, had bought this 200-year-old farm back in 1970s. His friends believe that living on the farm and closer to nature has made Mooraj the kind of man he is today.

Naheed Moini, his wife of 30 years, a candle-maker, calls him “an idealist,” who loves to farm and garden. “It’s a tough lifestyle. You have to make many sacrifices and must have a passion to live this way,” said Moini. She recalls the long commutes they made for their three kids, growing up and studying in schools in Karachi.

Mooraj’s parents moved from London to Karachi in 60s. They traveled home by road via a London cab, later settled at the farm. Mooraj choose to live and look after the farm as a teenager. Likewise, he let his children pursue the lifestyle they like. “I don’t expect any of them to retain the farm after me,” he said.

Mooraj is a man of action who believes one can do anything one wants to do. With around 35 years’ experience in horticulture, floriculture, and landscaping, he claims to be a pioneer in transplanting full-grown trees. In addition, he has introduced varieties of cash crops that need very little water in different parts of Sindh, particularly in the Indus delta.

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Saleha Atif, who works at the Hisaar Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation working on water, food and livelihood issues, of which Mooraj is a founding member, speaks highly of him. “He is a very simple, down-to-earth and a friendly person,” said Atif, who has known him for almost a decade.

Mooraj has conducted several training programmes across Pakistan for growing vegetable as a source of food and income generation benefiting over 250,000 people, specifically women from the low-income segments of the society. “There was a time in the past when it was a challenge to invite Pasha to the city,” Zohare recalled, term him a “farm boy” who preferred to invite his friends over to his farm. However, things started changing when he received recognition for hosting gardening programmes on various channels, including the Pakistan Television, Hum TV and Masala television. Now he is interacting more with urban dwellers through his TV shows.

Mooraj has not only improved the lives of scores of urban dwellers, but small farmers in Pakistan’s villages to become food secure through practicing kitchen gardening and conserving water. As for climate protection initiatives, Mooraj thinks recycling needs to be emphasised if we want this world to be restored for the coming generation. For example, he said water draining from an air conditioner can be collected and used for watering the plants. Placing a brick in the tank of a WC flush can displace water so that less quantity of water is used to flush.

Mooraj believes he was destined to do what he is doing and feels blessed “to have the exposure and opportunities in life which many talented people might dream but never get.” He is a true son of the soil with bare minimum needs. “One can live a much contented life if one learns to live within resources at the cost of little adjustments,” he said. Mooraj’s dream is to see the day when hundreds and thousands of Pakistani expatriates return home. “That would be the day when Jinnah’s vision would come true and he will be brought back to his home,” he said earnestly.

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http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/blogs/18-Oct-2015/a-man-who-dares-to-live-his-dream

Main tu abbu ki Beti Hoon– In memory of my beloved Abbu on his 5th Barsi

merai bachpan kai din, kitnai acchai thai din

merai bachpan kai din, kitnai acchai thai din

Mai tu abbu ki beti hoon,
apnai abbu ki beti hoon…
woh abbu jin kai dam sai zindagi abad rehti thee
woh abbu jin ki cahat jugnoaun ka saat lagti thee

Meri sari hee rahain aik unhi kai dum sai roshan theen
Meri saari panahain aik unhi kai zaat ka ghar theen
Woh jo saarai zamanai kai liya ghaizo-ghazab ka paikar thai
aur merai saamnai goya mehaz aik maum ka bot thai

Meri aik muskurahat un ki zeest ka hasil tha
meri chalki nigahain un kai dil ko cheer detein theen
Woh jin kai haath ki hiddat mai ab tuk apnai shano per mehsoos karti hoon
woh jin kai piyar ka lams merai mathai ka jhumar tha

Woh jub bhi ghar ko atai saath apnai bazar laata thai
Merai hur zaiqai hur shoq ki taskeen ka saman laatai thai
Unhai sub yaad tha jo kuch merai dil ko lubhata tha
So merai hur dukh hur tishnaqi ka madawa un ka eman tha

Woh Tera March ka din tha haftai ki subhu thee
Jub meri zindagi mera maan merai abu hamashai kai liya hum sai juda huai
Woh abu jin ki batai hur dum hamain rulati aur hasanti thee
Dabai paon aisa rukhsat hua kai meri zindagi kai hur warq pur sannatai ka pehra hai

Na koi aahat, na dastak, na sada, na siski, na dharka
Na ab woh cahatai na lams, na woh nigahain hain
Kai jin ki garmiyon sai merai sub ehsaas zinda thai
aur jin ki khusboun sai merai bachpan kai din mehaktai thai

Na jatai hua unhon nai kuch kaha na hi mera dil dharka
Bhala koi apni jaan sai piyari beti ko yun bhi chor jaata hai
Woh abu jin kai dum sai zindagi kuch bafiqar si thi
Woh lub jin ki duai hamaisha merai saath chalti theen

Meri her kamyabi main unhi ka aik sahara tha
Meri her nakami main unhi ka dum gawara tha
Na ab woh dua, na lab, na dum, na saya na baifiqri
Mehaz aik yaad baki hai fakat ehsaas baqi hai

abu with me at my wedding

Kitna pyar kitna dular us aik nigha main abbu with me at my valima

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY… !

should we celebrate valentine or not…?

erumsuchistan

               

   To love and be loved is an innate human instinct. Since inception of the universe and creation of the human race, love exists and might survive till eternity. Mankind witnessed numerous immortal stories of love and sacrifice.

It is natural that every couple on this path assumes themselves Laila Majnoo, ready to face stoning of Zalim Samaj in yearning of each other. Every enthusiast is swearing to dig out a lake of love from the barren mountains of worldly differences for his Shireen, though he might fail to provide her a glass of clean water in the modern world.

The sage of love is universal, however, it’s changing with the fast-paced world. So Shakespeare’s lovable Juliet and gentleman Romeo seem characters from ancient classics nowadays. In the modern practical age, love birds are not so naïve to waste their entire life in the wish of one kind look or…

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An Extract from a Teacher’s Diary

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Margaret Fishback Powers said, “One hundred years from now on, it will not matter what kind of car you drove, what kind of house you lived in, how much you had in your bank account or what your clothes looked like, but the world may be a little better because you were important in the life of a child.“

Assess the worth of a person who plays a vital role in the lives of a number of children. Of course it’s none other than a teacher. Teachers are the role models who inspire us, guide us and lead us through the paths of life. Behind every success and failure of ours, there’s a mentor or a leader.
When I questioned myself why do I want to be a teacher despite multiple inhibitions about the profession, I found that it’s only because of the great teachers I had in my life. Whether it’s my junior class petite and polite instructors Maams Tabassum, Naheed and Aforze or secondary school exemplary educators Ms.Naseem, Safia, Mrs Siddiqui and Yahya, they remain a source of inspiration and enlightenment through the thick and thin of my life. They role model for their students, discover their potentials and polish their personalities in every way possible

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I luckily found great facilitators in college and university too. Ms Mehta’s style, Ms Shafqat’s charm. Ms Baig’s poise, Maam Gulzar’s concern and Ms Sahida’s radical thoughts opened new vistas to many of us and we blossomed into confident young ladies from perplexed teenagers.
I always wonder if I could ever be as valuable to my students as my teachers were. One who have the insight to make its scholars think, question and discover.While a good teacher is a blessing, an incompetent one can easily turn a student’s life into a hell. Students lose their belief in goodness of mankind when teachers exhibit attitude problems and prejudiced behavior.

Unfortunately, commercialization of education in Pakistan has reduced teachers into paid tutors dealing with clients rather than students. This transformation has changed most values about teacher-student relationship. Leaving exceptions, most private educational institutions are selling education at high rates. Teaching there is just a mean to produce labeled degree-holders that can acquire attractive jobs with handsome salaries only. Parents also seek for the result-oriented education that ensures fast-track secure career.

In such a demanding market-oriented environment, teachers are to drill numerous syllabus topics into students mind, assess them to achieve high grades and arrange extravagant activities to justify exorbitant education cost to its customers. The concept of truly devoted teachers with a genuine interest in students’ character building is thus extinct. The selfless dedication of instructors and unconditional devotion of students are long-lost. Reciprocally most teachers are losing their status and charisma at the cost of declining education standards despite better packages and increasing ventures at numerous educational institutions.

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I got a chance to teach at different levels; from high school to college and undergraduate to graduate and even post-graduate levels in different stages of my teaching career. On the basis of which I can say with all honesty that students from middle and lower social stratus still exhibit keen interest in their studies and genuine respect for their mentors.

However, my experiences with some of the City’s posh institutions were devastating. The affluent parents send away their spoil brats in these renowned educational institutions for a reputed degree. It’s, therefore, teachers foremost duty to please their customers anyway. I often wonder their casual mannerism. The never let a chance to demoralize their mentors. Be it a bad joke, suggestive remarks, howling sounds or arguments over assessment, they like to get an edge. However, very few show true intellect and interest in studies. Since students have a say at management level and teachers are hired,promoted and demoted on their feedback, most teachers grade them leniently to acquire students’ acknowledgement.

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It’s true that a teacher is a key factor in the class but s/he is not working in isolation. Students nowadays enjoy an equal status to make or frustrate a teacher. Teachers who teach social sciences, liberal arts, literature and languages often face tough time with their students since most of them consider these disciplines inferior to hardcore science and business subjects that can lead them to a standard degree and sound job.

Our educational institutions and society are equally responsible to reinforce the due status of teachers along with the essence of education. Appreciation for Art, Philosophy, Literature, Ethics and Religion and Social sciences must be developed, as these are the spirit of human existence and self-realization. We as a society need to understand that “Without respecting educators and education, we will remain backward and ignorant.”

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ARE WE READY TO SEND OUR CHILDREN BACK TO SCHOOLS?

images (1)Girls carry their school bags as they walk along a road while heading to their school after it reopened in PeshawarIt’s a do-or-die situation. But neither our government nor school management are capable enough to provide foolproof security to our children. So what’s the solution? How long we can keep our educational institutions closed? How far we can live under threat? These are pertinent questions that are to be raised, responded and resolved at every level

Extended Winter Vacations in Schools are about to end and children across Pakistan are ready to go back to school. After all fun-filled visits to family and friends, festivals and festivities; this is the time to resume studies in educational institutions. However, the dilemma each parent is confronting at the moment is ‘Are we Ready to send our children back to schools under the open threat of attacks from militants’? I am just wondering if we are…! When I posed the same question to the principal of my children’s school in these words, “What if there’s another attack and that would be our school?” She looked shocked and responded with utter disbelief. “God Forbid! acchi baat mau sai nikalai.” “But…!, I tried to explain however was quickly interrupted with a ready-made response, “We have taken all the required measures, you can go and check the notice board at the entrance. And if you are still keen, take a separate appointment to discuss the matter further. Baqi Allah is Great, Trust Him.”
On one side, mainstream media regularly feature activities of countless committees and statements of ministers and law enforcing agencies regarding the stringent security measures and foolproof initiatives claimed to be enforced. But are they trustworthy with their conflicting claims? The other day, I have seen the warning of Punjab Education minister Rana Mashood to the educational institutions that if they failed to follow the security instructions of the home department, they would be sealed till satisfactory arrangements.
On the other side, schools’ management resisted, saying that the authorities’ pressure to increase number of trained and armed security guards, installation of CCTV cameras, metal detectors or walkthrough gates, alarms and construction of boundary walls with barbed wires on them at their expense reflect the fact that the state is unable provide security to its educational institutions

The situation is not much different in other provinces including Sindh, KPK and Baluchistan where high ups from intelligence, police and provincial governments claimed to have a liaison with the management of schools, colleges and universities for essential security measures to avoid sequel of Army Public School Peshawar incident in any city. However, at the same time the Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Qadir Thebo accepted the fact that they don’t have sufficient staff to provide security to all schools in the city so private schools with heavy fee structure were instructed to take independent security measures on their own. The provincial governments obviously pass the buck to educational institutions by issuing redundant directives regarding distant parking, vigilance at entrance, exits and staff training. But who is responsible to ensure the monitoring and implementation of the directives is crucial to ask.
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Being parents we are totally puzzled and threatened. We don’t believe in all these hollow claims, responsibility-shifting gimmicks and publicity stunts. What we are increasingly concerned about are the security of our children, teachers and educational institutions. Not only that we also demand the fool-proof security of other public places including shopping malls, cinemas and religious places.
What I strongly believe is that rather than extending school’s winter vacations or blaming each other, we as a community, consisting of parents, teachers, students, staff and civil society need to join hands and do whatever we can as our responsibility to our community. The primary objective is to ensure efficient surveillance measures to prevent access of terrorists to our schools, colleges and universities. For that purpose installation of functional detectors, alarms, cameras and engagement of professionally trained security guards is indispensable. Schools, state and parents have to bear the cost mutually since it’s the matter of our children’s survival and security

Besides, effective Civil Defense crash programme should be introduced in all educational institutions and offices as mandatory training.
Civil Defense is an effective tool to combat militants and security threat that implies emergency operations and evacuations, preventive measures, recovery and response drills. Educational institutions must engage civil defense experts and volunteers to train their staff, teachers and senior students for any emergency situation or attack.
I might sound ambitious but there are incidents in the world and in even our own country where civilians effectively prevent deadly attacks and accidents through timely action and decisions. Considering the massive scale and severity of the situation, we have no option but to learn how to combat such attacks and how we can protect ourselves and people around us.

According to Sean Coughlan, the Education Correspondent of BBC News,
“Terror attacks on schools and colleges have risen to higher levels than at any point in more than 40 years world over.” Since 2004, there is a marked increase in such attacks as indicated by the global terrorism database and unfortunately Pakistan topped the list even prior to Peshawar attack in December, which, no doubt is the deadliest and one of its own kind. Thus it demands equally serious Defense measures.
What is crucial to understand is the fact that we cannot live under terror for good. In order to rear and prepare our children in the current environment, we have to take proactive measures. No politician, state, government, army, police or even educational institution can help and protect us unless we decide to help ourselves. This is high time we need to equip ourselves to protect our future and our children since it’s the matter of our survival.

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