Youth issues: ‘80% of students cannot afford transport fares’

Youth Senate of Pakistan asks government to issue discount cards.


The government should issue discount cards to students in Rawalpindi and Islamabad to allay their traffic problems. This demand was made by Youth Senate of Pakistan (YSP) Chairperson Hanan Ali Abbasi.

He proposed that National Students Discount Cards (NSDC) be issued to students of the twin cities in order to resolve their “longstanding transport problems”. He also requested the Chief Commissioner Islamabad to issue NSDC to students in Islamabad on an experimental basis as soon as possible.

YSP, the only youth representative organisation in the country, issued a report on Saturday regarding the transport problems of students in the twin cities.

According to the report, transport fares doubled in the last three years, compelling students to travel on the roofs of public transport vehicles. More than 30 students have lost their lives in traffic accidents in the last 10 years due to lack of public transport and ever-increasing fares. YSP believes the discount cards would go a long way in allaying the issues being faced by the students.

Abbasi told the media that about 80 per cent of students all over the country are finding it hard to pay transport fares after the increase in petroleum prices. He demanded from the government to announce NSDC in the same way as it launched Watan Cards for the poor.

“NSDCs should be issued to students for three-year periods and district officers should provide information regarding registered students to the government,” he suggested.

He also suggested that the government give 50 per cent discount in fares to students. In his view, such a move would help in increasing the country’s literacy rate, as lack of money is the main reason students are compelled to drop out of school.

Moreover, daily clashes between students and conductors have become a matter of routine on twin city routes, resulting in several injuries.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2011.


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