KARACHI: Young girls of Lyari believe that positive activities and skill-based training can not only reduce the area’s crime ratio, but augment social development which has been neglected by the government for years.
“They [youth] were inclined towards criminal activities due to lack of opportunities,” said Fatima Hasan, who leads female volunteers in Bihar Colony, Agrataj Colony, Rahimabad, Higorabad and adjacent areas of the locality. “If girls initiate [good work], it will certainly affect our brothers to work hard and contribute to society positively,” she added.
Youth shoot life to humanise Lyari
Dozens of girls from Lyari’s different areas participated in a youth awareness session organised by the Aas Research and Development Organization (ARADO) in collaboration with the Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) in Bihar Colony on Friday.
The young girls said it was almost after eight years in the most populous and once notorious areas of Lyari that social and economic activities have been started. “It is a good sign for our bright future,” commented an excited Zulekhan Dawood.
“We [youth] want to participate in the country’s development,” said Shazia Ashfaq, another volunteer. But, she added, unfortunately our identity is linked with crime.
Sultan Adam, president of ARADO, said the potential of Lyari’s youth is being ignored. “Our young need healthy activities. It is the right time to engage them in constructive things,” he said, adding that it was the first time after almost eight years that social gatherings among young groups belonging to different ethnicities are being initiated in the area.
“If you want a different Lyari tomorrow, you need to provide its youth economic and social opportunities today,” Adam urged.
Raheema Panhwar, a programme specialist at SPO, said though her organisation is working in Lyari since 2004, it was their first intervention in this particular area. “We want to utilise the youth in constructive and progressive work,” she explained.
SPO, through its Youth Employment Project, targets to select youth of three underprivileged areas of the city, including Lyari, Korangi and Sultanabad, and aims to provide them skilled training. “We also ensure jobs for these boys and girls once they complete the training,” Panhwar explained.
Renewed hopes for the football-loving Lyari
The SPO official said the mental and personality development of girls and boys was also being shaped through social interactive sessions. “It is amazing to interact with girls and boys of Lyari. They have a lot of potential, and just need support. I believe they’ll change the entire impression of Lyari’s past,” she added.
According to Adam, his organisation has received dozens of applications for different trainings. He explained that the volunteers aim to convince girls and boys who are jobless and lack proper training. “Every street has hundreds of jobless persons. They need jobs and training so they could earn money with respect,” he said, adding that “The inclination of girls for jobs seems to be high.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2016.
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