Non-Muslims only
October 17, 2021
Heal your hospital before you heal your patients
November 11, 2021
Our Plunder – Protect ratio.
Rafia Zakaria in her recent book “Against white feminism – notes on disruption,” describes a $400 million US aid program to train Afghan women. The grant resulted in training just three women while the huge amount was judiciously plundered by the usual suspects – aid workers, NGOs, contractors and the government officials.
As if competing with Afghanistan, Pakistan could offer numerous equally tragic examples of plunder and wastefulness. Here is a heart-rending story of how tax-payers’ money is misused by the very Commissions, Authorities, Departments and Child Protection Shelters, that are created in the name of ‘child protection’.
A fabulously furnished, formidable 2 storeyed building, costing some 200 million Rupees, with accommodation to house 200 children, lies dormant and decaying at Saudabad Malir. Called, “Shelter for Destitute and Orphan Children”, its offices are loaded with furniture, flags, TV screens and large chairs, whose seats have not felt the warmth of an official bottom, even for a single day.
Meant to recover, shelter and rehabilitate thousands of homeless, destitute, beggar , missing, abused or homeless children. The ‘Shelter’ on 21st October 2021, eight months after its inauguration had only two occupants on its roll – a six year old boy held for last six months without a Magistrate’s order and a 15 year old girl, further exposed to the inherent vulnerability of abuse in the shelter itself.
What is stated above is neither new nor news. A similar shelter was proclaimed to be under construction for over 10 years at Korangi. Having consumed over 100 million Rupees, it lies unused, neglected and decayed, The essence of child protection appears to boil down to “contracts” for buildings and furniture, followed by much-advertised opening ceremonies. That is where the buck stops. Let the Lord protect the children of Sindh.
Can citizens help an unwilling, disinterested and heartless government to perform its primary function. A process loaded with an archaic bureaucracy and an insatiable desire to syphon off funds – not by a small percentage, but in entirety. A 200-bed shelter, housing just 2 kids aptly explains the ratio of scavenging involved in the existing process. One would imagine reforming such a process akin to pushing boulders up a steep mountain. However, a change is always possible, even by a small group of people, willing to roll up their sleeves and willing to use new tools and techniques.
Child protection is deeply linked to poverty. Just outside the ‘shelter’, along the length of its boundary wall, sit dozens of 6-14 year old abused and neglected children, playing in garbage heaps, scavenging and foraging – unseen and un-noticed by the Ministers, Chairpersons, Director Generals, Directors, and Child Protection Officers. Only 50 yards ahead, sits another group of druggies and addicts, sniffing, smoking, injecting, cannabis, heroin and cocaine. Unless urgently rescued by the Child Protection Department, these abused and neglected children are likely to soon crossover the short distance of fifty yards, and be lost to the world forever.