Universal Children’s Day: Khursheed Shah laments social divide between elite and poor kids

Children perform to raise awareness about their problems


Our Correspondent November 20, 2016
PEF and CDA sign MoU to provide free education to almost 4,500 students. PHOTO: REUTERS

SUKKUR: It is quite disturbing to see that only children from orphanages have taken part in the celebrations while kids belonging to the elite class are not here, said the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Khursheed Ahmed Shah, on Saturday.

He was addressing the audience at an event organised to celebrate Universal Children’s Day. The programme was jointly organised by the Sindh government’s social welfare department and district support group at Sindh Rural Support Organisation complex in Sukkur. This year, the event was organised under the theme, ‘Stop Violence against Children’.

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The event should have been celebrated on a larger scale, in which all the children should have participated, said Shah. He expressed concern over the lack of participation from children belonging to affluent families and said that only the poor and needy kids have performed at the event. Shah said that this is the worst kind of social divide and people should work together to put an end to this. He added that all the babies are born alike, however, later on they become poor or rich, depending on the socio-economic status of their respective families.

Shah further said that the politicians make tall promises when they are campaigning for elections and ask the poor people to vote for them. However, they forget about them soon after winning. “We are habitual of talking about the poor and their problems, but now it’s time that our actions should speak louder than our words,” he added. Shah admitted that so far, they have failed miserably in bridging the gap between the poor and rich, which is not good.

Speaking on the occasion, Sukkur social welfare deputy director Abdul Qudoos Memon shared the details of a recent survey. According to the survey, he said, sexual violence against children has increased by 7% since 2015, as compared to the data of 2014. During this period, 3,762 children from across the country were subjected to sexual assault and child marriages. Out of 1,794 boys, 35 were killed after sexual abuse and out of 1,977 girls, 21 were killed after sexual assault, he added. According to Memon, out of the total of 3,762, around 2,616 cases were from Punjab, 638 in Sindh, 167 in Islamabad, 113 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 207 in Balochistan and 21 cases were from Azad Kashmir.

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Children and students from various institutions, including Pakistan Sweet Home, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi and Riverside Development Organisation, and special children from social welfare department’s school performed for the audience. The themes of their performance were children’s right to education, better health facilities and nutrition. Later on, books and gifts were distributed among the children by various social welfare organisations.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2016.

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