An Unhappy Children’s Day!

An amazing Blessing From God For The Parents Every day is Children’s Day

Children are a gift – an amazing blessing from God. Every single day we may find ourselves doing a lot for our kids, loving and caring for them, nurturing, teaching, training, helping, leading, equipping, encouraging, protecting and so much more. It would not be wrong to say that for the parents every day is Children’s Day.

Universal Children’s Day is observed annually on 20thNovember. It was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world’s children.

In many countries, children celebrate the Day with full of joy and happiness and make it “well memorable” of their lives, but whenever Children’s Day comes in Pakistan the poor innocents were really unaware about what to do and how to celebrate, as they are far away from pleasures and enjoyments.

In September 2021, the government stated that 22% percent of its population lives below the national poverty line. Millions of people are expected to slip below the poverty line as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and recent flash flooding.

The first victims of poverty are children – the weakest and most vulnerable – who face a complete deprivation of their rights in the country.

Research and reports sadly convey the figures that millions of children are on the streets and often sleep hungry, and there is a troubling increase in the cases of abuse, kidnapping, and violence. The reports also show that children are sold, rented, or even kidnapped in order to force them to beg, serve, and even to prostitute.

An estimated 22.8 million children aged 5-16 are out-of-school, approximately 19 million children below 14 years of age are working as child labour.

Many children in Sindh, who were already living below the poverty line, have been devastated by floods, and resultantly, became easy prey to greedy landlords in the province.There have been a substantial number of landlords that are committing human rights violations against labourers that live and work on their land.

In a bid to provide relief to the suffering labourers and vulnerable communities, the Sindh government’s Human Rights Department initiated a legal assistance program.

The program titled “Legal Assistance and Awareness Program for Vulnerable Communities Across Sindh” was launched in June, 2022 in association with the Legal Aid Society (LAS). The program gives preference to the cases of orphans, old age citizens, women-related issues and victims of domestic violence.
During the floods the HRD’s program has supported many labours. LAS has played a vital role in this regard. One of the cases, amid floods, became a “success story” when LAS advocate Housh Muhammad filed a Section 491 Habeas Corpus petition in the district court of Sanghar.

The complainants told LAS Sanghar that their son has been forcefully detained by a landlord on his property and is forcing him to take care of his livestock which includes walking in 5-7 feet of floodwater to collect food for the landlord’s livestock, endangering the life of the youth to protect his livestock.

The parents had tears in their eyes, shivering hands were even unable to hold their hearts, and they were broken and became a portrait of misery. Striving to take them into confidence and raise their morale, Advocate Housh tried to make them believe for his sincere support.

Housh filed the Section 491 Habeus Corpus petition against the landlord in which he also added the concerned SHO and SSPs of the area as respondents to expedite the release of the youth from the landlord’s detention. The police department expediently recovered the youth from the landlord’s confinement and returned him to his family.

Health issues are the worst among all the problems; innocents are facing in the country. Especially, rural healthcare lacks in quality, affordability, and accessibility for several reasons.The main reason at the back of mounting child mortality in Pakistan is lack of child healthcare facilities especially in the remote regions, where the majority of the population lives.

Asphyxia, preterm delivery, sepsis, and tetanus are chief causes of deaths among infants and newborns. Similarly, diarrhoea, pneumonia, measles, malaria, HIV/AIDS and the underlying cause of malnutrition. It is believed that malnutrition alone causes 50% of infant deaths.

The situation of child related issues in the country is abysmal and among the most important national issues that needs serious attention and efforts that are needed by the government and civil society to save the lives of thousands of children who are out of school, homeless, malnourished and most importantly, those who die every year from preventable diseases.

Major factors which are playing role in death of children should be improved like education of mother, gender inequality and proper secondary as well as tertiary care.

A holistic approach is needed to improve children and newborn health, mainly by improving and upgrading facilities at district hospitals. In order to save the lives of children, paediatric institutes should be opened in all districts of Pakistan where emergency services along with trained Children-disease experts should be made available all the time.

We all can strive to play a role for the betterment of the deserving children without considering the volume of the struggles. Small efforts can bring giant changes. Indeed, there are examples that can motivate our moral towards sincerely serving the humanity.