As a young Pakistani and a student it was heartening to listen to your speech, Mr prime Minister Imran Khan, especially where you mention mobilising youth in managing affairs requiring support through engagement.
Being student of O-Levels (Grade 10) and that too of Business, the facts and figures shared were quite impressive and I was able to relate to it and at the same time be quite worried as to how we got here? We could have been better without even trying!!! However, your calmness momentarily eased my worries about my future and of all those who are studying and gruesomely those who are not.
Youth is the power of any country. They are the drivers of revolution, change, innovation, tolerance and society. Our youth is very talented and the results of various examination boards prove it. We are street smart, entrepreneurial, politically astute and most importantly adaptable and yet deliver. We adapt ourselves with the traffic madness, trends, information, frequent power shutdowns, and are still able to study.
Therefore it would be a win-win situation for both federal and the provincial governments to initiate projects related to Youth diplomacy and youth engagement to achieve, in true spirit, a better Pakistan above all political affiliations, and to work as one.
For this I, in my humble opinion, recommend the following steps:
When talking about plantation drives, let’s focus our efforts on planting fruits and vegetables, so that the problem of malnutrition can be solved because 45% of Pakistani children, almost every second child, are victims to this tragedy. Doing this, as pointed out by your speech, will develop these kids brains so that they can go forward in life. They will be able to compete academically, professionally and in Co-curricululars.
Secondly, the problem of illiteracy also has to be solved. You pointed out that more than 20 million Pakistani kids are out of school. For this let’s start a program of volunteering for credit hours where students teach underprivileged children for extra marks. This will not only help the underprivileged children we will also develop our moral values and will help us develop as a nation. For example, if the university has 100 minimum students, and each of them have to give 100 volunteer hours a year, i.e. 4.5 days, that makes 10,000 hours per year. Imagine the amount of good we could do if every single College and university across Pakistan implemented this. We could also introduce Pride of Pakistan
Award for engaging children and teachers to educate street children in their neighborhood.
It is quite disheartening to see that Pakistan does not have a serving Minister of Youth Affairs. The Ministry of Youth Affairs should be re-established and should have a separate wing of advisors (consisting of youth, especially teens) to draft an action plan on core civic and political cum governance issues where we can volunteer.
We should engage public and private educational institutions through conferences and / or proposal competition where students along with their faculty can provided input into how government offices should function, and provide road map for improving traffic and obeying traffic rules.
Liaise with Governments of other countries who have had success in implementing Youth Diplomacy and Engagement Programs through their respective Consulates.
Conduct various drives like cleanliness, health awareness, child abuse (as also highlighted by our Prime Minister) by engaging school students.
If these are implemented in its true spirit, we will witness rapid change. This mobilization of children and youth will make us more patriotic and it wouldn’t be long before we in near future would see capable young leaders leading across all fronts including government.
I hope that you, Mr Prime Minister, will accept my suggestions and will allow the youth of Pakistan to take a stand for their country and to help it develop.
A concerned citizen,