On World Literacy day, I made a child smile

I couldn't just sit and blame the government and lament Pakistan's state: I went out and started my own NGO for...

Sana Kharbe September 09, 2011
On September 8, the world celebrated International Literacy Day. This day stressed the importance of learning, education and literacy to an individual, society and countries.

While many countries like France, Germany, Finland celebrated this day with joy and counting their achievements, Pakistan is still in darkness and ignorance.

Pakistan gained its independence from India in 1947. Sadly, today India’s literacy rate is much higher than that of Pakistan. This is due to many factors including political stability, child labour, extreme poverty, high unemployment, rural urban migration, high birth rate and low or no standard of government schools. The government in Pakistan is so preoccupied with its fruitless attempts in maintaining law and order that they don’t seem to give much importance to education.

The people of Pakistan are left to their own miseries; they are denied the most basic rights to education - a right that not only help’s the individual, but is a tool for the country’s development.

While I was growing up, I wanted to do something for this nation, and I knew that education was the key to all the problem. The restlessness in me grew to a point where I started my own little NGO Make A Child Smile.

I collected fund from my family, friends by selling handmade bookmarks, seasonal greeting cards, gift tags, and envelopes. I started with a mission and a vision to  help under privileged children get enrolled in semi-private or good government schools.

I provided the children with the basics that a school going kid should have such as books, stationary, transport fees if the school is at a distance from the child's home, and by the grace of Allah, it turned out to be a great success.

Recently Make A Child Smile admitted two kids to a semi-private school and provided them uniforms, bags, stationery and course books. I even give tuition to kids who are can't afford to get extra help.

While the Pakistani government may not celebrate Literacy Day, I feel proud, as I at least took a step beyond just blaming the government and lamenting the sad condition of my country.

Perhaps it is time the rest of us did the same.

Sana Kharbe A student who did her A levels from Nixor college and is currently applying to universities.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Ali S | 12 years ago | Reply 18-year-old Pakistani medical student here. This is absolutely inspiring - I wish more Pakistani youth were like you :)
SK | 12 years ago | Reply can you post the link of your fb page? I am really interested in working for this cause:)
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