Written for, and first published on, the official website of National Youth Parliament Pakistan.
What changes is the government making?
Well, that is a really good question to ask, especially, before electing a party to lead our government. However, if we are all waiting for a government to come and change Pakistan, it may take a lot of years to see a new face of it – a clean and healthy face of Pakistan.
A country can easily achieve positive changes if those changes are executed within the smallest stitch of its fabric.
In today’s time where we are all anxiously looking towards positive changes being implemented in our political and societal system, like curbing pollution, eradicating corruption, et al, we are still to a great extent playing a pretty dormant role ourselves. We all wait for the elected party to do what is required of them and yell and cry when they do not, which is quite often. But, why do we feel so dependent upon a party elected by us? What was the entire purpose of voting for them? Was it not to represent us, the nation? The nation that is building the country, the driving force of the country, does not find itself strong enough to take the gears in their hands and drive towards making those changes themselves?
No, I am not talking about revolting against the government or encouraging acts of anarchy. I am talking about investing and making changes that you want to see in your country. It does not have to be on a large scale. On the scale, which is convenient to you.
For instance, if you do not like the pollution in your city, why not consider the option of car-pooling to work with a group of colleagues or friends? Or cycling to and from work or university? At least, within a neighbourhood, we could dedicate specific tracks for cyclists for their safety, increasing the unity amongst the people and promoting a healthy alternative, too! If this idea gains practice and popularity within the smaller units of our society, it may eventually, explode to major cities, as well. Seeing the determination and expectations of the citizens, the conscience of the authority could be stirred up and they may invest in strengthening the public transport system.
The simplest way to eradicate corruption is to stand up against it. You might say that it is easier said than done. I disagree with reason. Just answer this question: what is the ratio of the number of corrupt government officials to the number of citizens living in Pakistan? Yes, it is a staggering difference with the odds in favour of the common citizens. If we outnumber the corrupt officials by far, then why can’t we stand up against the demands of bribery? If each and every one of us refuses to partake and contribute in the infestation of corruption, with none of us yielding to it, we will surely overcome this disease.
The fact is that thinking of these solutions does not require an IQ of a genius, however, we have, sadly, lazily adopted the habit of whining and not acting. We whine about the inability of the government, the rising pollution, the woes of corruption, the heat and what not, but never act.
Recently I read a news article about how the city of Karachi was better prepared this year for the onslaught of the heat waves by creating trenches in graveyards that would be able to accommodate up to a hundred bodies as well as more ice for patients in hospitals. That piece of news literally churned my stomach. It shocked me to see that keen steps were being taken for the after effects of the heat wave and nothing to prevent tragedy from striking!
Why not invest in creating more shelters during this season, especially near construction sites, equipped with all the aid required for keeping people hydrated? Isn’t prevention better than cure?
These calamities can be avoided if we decide to work together with friends and neighbours in constructing tents in our neighbourhood during the heat wave season. It does not cost a lot if we work united.
Now, this certainly doesn’t mean that we should allow all debauchery to happen at the state head level, we will continue to exercise our right in questioning the government for its ineptitude and bringing it to take the appropriate action, however, that shouldn’t stop us from taking action on a personal level, too.
The first change that is achievable is a change within ourselves. Let’s commence towards making this change and take part in lighting a candle rather than cursing the darkness.
– SKY –
© Seemeen Khan Yousufzai