Serving the orphans
By Jahanara Watto
Throughout my life nothing can satisfy me mentally and spiritually as much as serving innocent children who have lost one or both of their parents. These innocent children are capable of doing nothing hence need our help and a hand on their heads. They have the same rights just like other normal children. Since they do not have parents, it becomes the responsibility of the state to provide them food, health and education facilities. At the same time I also realize that a government can do nothing alone till we do not make it our duty and national pride to cater for the orphans ourselves.
While sitting in luxurious air-conditioned rooms, tweeting about how Pakistan is in dire need of help or appearing on TV talk shows emphatically speaking about human rights and complaining that the government is actually doing nothing. Tweets about which city or coffee house they are in would not help the situation of those people who need our help. “Why don’t they go out and do something?” I wonder. It was then that I decided to become proactive. It has been a year since I started working as the PPP President for Okara district, Punjab.
Instead of criticizing or sitting in a coffee shop, countering someone who is practically working on the issue I prefer to be among public and with public serving those who need my help rather than my voice. Since childhood I was always desirous to continue the tradition of my family that is “To serve humanity through helping the needy”. Growing up in a political family, I saw my father selflessly supporting the poor and providing relief to the subjugated mankind. That was a great inspiration for a daughter of a political family.
I was inspired to know that my leader Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had a dream of an organization at national and international level that can look after, rear, feed and educate the orphans in such an environment where they feel they are not deprived. I was much contented to know about the “Sweet Homes” run by Pakistan’s Bait-ul-Maal under the legacy of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto serving the young, innocent orphan children in an astonishingly satisfactory manner. Today I am comfortable while working with orphans and for orphans. It has inspired me so deeply that no moment passes when I do not think about how to console and facilitate these children. Every minute new ideas keep born in my mind only how can I contribute for their better life, healthy food, comfortable shelter and standard education, I think all the time.
To be ambassador or advocate for the orphans’ rescue is an honor for me and my family. I feel no hesitation while compelling the people, media and national and international organizations to join hands with us in this consecrated mission. I invite everyone to visit any orphanage near your house at least once. It is not necessary for everyone to sponsor an orphan if one cannot but one’s loving presence and sense of reassurance can give them happiness beyond imagination. Even one’s advice could motivate us in serving them in better ways. Many are politicizing this revered service in which beneficiaries are only those who have nothing for their food, clothes, shelter and education. I suggest those connivers that there are many points to be scored for political and malicious vested interests but let us please refrain from playing with the future of innocent orphans’ lives. Let us work to educate them so that in future they could become an integral and productive part of our society and let us work to save them from falling into malicious hands of terrorists. We want them to be highly educated and civilized citizens rather than be brain washed by any terrorist organization, becoming a source of trouble particularly for the society, our country and the world in general.
We have observed that most of the suicides bombers are orphans who are less than 17 years old. These vulnerable children are being used as the main tool for terrorism. If we feel concerned about the future career and life of our own child then it is our religious and national obligation to also think for the orphans. Serving an orphan does not envisage taking care of a single child. It encompasses within its folds reformation of a society, educating a complete family and guaranteeing a progressive, peaceful, civilized and cultured future for Pakistan.
Thus it became important for a terrorism victimized country like Pakistan where Orphans are in thousands from each village and every city to have established a system of orphanages where they could be looked after properly. For this purpose the present government of PPP keeping in view the legacy of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto has so far established nearly 28 “Pakistan Sweet Homes” each with capacity of 100 orphan children all over the country. Thus presently, nearly 2800 orphans mostly those whose parents became victims of terrorism, are enrolled in these “Sweet Homes”. This noble measure means that the children who are brought up in these centers shall be nice, intelligent and well-groomed human beings. The process of making “Sweet Homes” does not stop here. It would be continued until 40 “Sweet Homes” are established each providing accommodation to 100 children. The government cannot ignore the most susceptible female child for whose benefit it has decided to establish “Sweet Homes for girl child”. Initially 15 “Sweet Homes” in different divisions would be opened for orphan girls.
Pakistan Bait-ul-Maal is not solely performing this gigantic mission. Up to now, more than 700 sons of the nation have been adopted by well-off people from our society. This is indeed both admirable and encouraging and it is hoped that many thousands would follow suit in stepping forward to generously donate their wealth and time for the upkeep of these deserving children. The rich among us must abstain from wasting money in ill-found activities in their everyday lives but try to utilize our money for the wellbeing of orphans and for the bright future of our country .Benevolence should know no bounds or limits as it would be highly rewarded in this world and the Hereafter.
I once more repeat that the government can do nothing without the public’s will and support especially in carrying out this enormous mission. So let us resolve to co-operate with our government in all the righteous steps that it takes for the welfare of this nation.
The writer is President Pakistan Peoples Party, Okara, and working with Pakistan Bait ul Maal for “Sweet Homes”