This year we are celebrating Pakistan’s 73rd Independence Day. The Muslims of the subcontinent earned this free country after their great efforts and the resolve of our founding fathers.
Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s founder, played a central role in this regard. He had the support of Liaquat Ali Khan, Fatima Jinnah, Sir Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, Choudhry Rahmat Ali and Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan, among others.
Today, Pakistan has provided us with a home, opportunities for education, healthcare and the necessities of life we need. Every country has shortcomings, however, and it is up to the people, especially the youth, to focus their efforts to envision and pursue trailblazing initiatives.
Here we will discuss some ideas that the readers of this magazine and the youth of Pakistan can follow to help Pakistan grow.
Our country is facing an energy crisis and we can help it conserve energy. We must switch off all electrical equipment, including fans and tube lights, when we leave our room. At night, we can turn on only those lights in our home that are needed, and put out those that are non-essential, especially the ones at the main entrance and the rear end of our home.
Similarly, we must use water as per our needs. For instance, when brushing our teeth, we must not keep the tap open, but use water only when we gargle. If you have an electricity pole in front of your home with a streetlight and a switch, do see to it that this light is switched off after sunrise. If this is not being done, bring it to the notice of the management committee of your locality.
You must never touch an electricity pole barefooted or if there is a puddle of water near it. You can conserve electricity by opening the windows and curtains to let in sunlight instead of turning on lights indoors during the day. These small steps will help you conserve energy. If we all follow them, it will create a lot of difference.
Be clean and green
Always use a dustbin to throw away unwanted stuff or garbage, it can be a piece of paper, a used wrapper, a bottle, or a tin can.
When you are outside your home, throw away garbage at designated places. In case you cannot find one, keep it with you until you can throw it away properly in a garbage bin.
You must never throw litter outside of your home. The cleanliness you observe at your home must be reflected on the street and in the neighbourhood that you live in. Similarly, with cleanliness comes the idea of keeping your environment green. We must plant saplings in our home and at designated areas along with roads and in open grounds. The saplings we sow today will become trees in the years to come.
Trees and greenery will help in reducing temperatures during the summer season. They will become a home for animal and birds and will increase oxygen.
You must kindle in others the spark of knowledge and information. By educating others, you will ensure a better tomorrow for Pakistan. You can begin educating children of your maid, gardener and driver so they can have a brighter future. However, you need to follow SOPs when doing so.
Moreover, you can give tuition to the children of your neighbourhood. Since these days social distancing is important due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it can be come online through Zoom. This will become a source of your pocket money. You will also help others complete their homework or learn about new stuff.
A nation also grows when the citizens follow laws and principles. This pertains to whatever we do in our everyday, academic, personal, and professional life.
A simple example is that of following traffic rules. We see how disorderly our traffic is and how senselessly we park our vehicles. If we follow traffic laws and do not show haste when driving, then the traffic flow will be smooth without any bottlenecks. We have to follow laws at all times. Standing in line to wait for our turn is a rule we need to adopt. Following laws requires patience and self-control, which we must develop to become a success.
Be honest and loyal
We must become honest and loyal citizens of Pakistan. Our uprightness must be replicated in our daily lives. Students must never use unfair means when attempting to solve questions during examinations. Professionals must follow rules and procedures when completing their personal and professional tasks. Literary scholars and researchers must produce original thesis and research work, and should avoid plagiarism at all costs.
Our loyalty to the state is our personal, secret tool that guides us to remain truthful to ourselves and faithful to our country.
It is true that in this age of globalisation, we can buy products made in another country. However, to make Pakistan strong, we must promote and appreciate the brands and products that are made in Pakistan. We should add value to the ecosystem of the Pakistani companies that are offering products instead of purchasing imported products.
Our appreciation and loyalty for Pakistani brands will help in the growth of such industries.
Reverse brain drain
The trend of brain drain has hampered Pakistan’s growth for many decades. After acquiring education, Pakistani youths settle abroad for either higher studies or to avail better job employment opportunities. The youth of Pakistan must appreciate the good things Pakistan has to offer.
This includes a diverse range of degree programmes they can pursue after completing Intermediate or A level. Moreover, the youth can also establish start-ups to uplift their community, society and the country.
Read and write
A nation’s fortitude is observed through the number of readers and writers it produces. The youth, as the future of Pakistan, needs to develop and maintain the habit of reading and writing. Read novels, newspapers, magazines, eBooks, and any material in any format that interests you.
Moreover, cultivate the habit of writing. You can begin by writing blogs before moving on to writing for print and digital media. If you are an avid reader, you will absorb content that will help you write opinion-based write-ups. You can also share your thoughts, feelings and experiences through blogs and articles.
It is up to us, the Pakistanis and the youth, to think about the ways we can help Pakistan become better and stronger. The actions we take today will help our country and us tomorrow. With commitment, dedication, hard work and by following our principles, goals and vision for a better tomorrow, we can build Pakistan into a country we want to live in.
Published in Dawn, Young World, August 15th, 2020