Setting up Youth Clinics across Pakistan
Pakistan is a country with reportedly 63% of its population under the age of 25. Such a staggering number of young citizens requires utmost attention from the new government which needs to formulate policies and provide opportunities to our young professionals. This would help Pakistan’s youth further their careers at home, rather than seeking opportunities abroad, hence avoiding a brain drain from the country.
These young achievers must also come together on a platform with nation-wide networking aimed to help the under privileged class. Such an initiative can help break through the social disconnect. This will also help create a bond between our achievers and members of the under privileged class. It will help our bright youngsters to own their country and her problems and imbibe them with the motivation to give back to their country.
Youth Clinics must be set up across the board, roping in our achievers amongst the younger lot. Different profession-related youngsters can provide free input and assistance, whereas in lower income strata areas of urban centers and those in rural areas, young workforce can be hired as regular staff. For non-payment contributors, two hours, twice or thrice a week in rotation, can become an effective exercise.
To quote one example, in year 2018, there are 9 first divisions (out of total 23) from Pakistan alone from the University of London LLB degree programme from over fifty thousand students from over 180 countries around world. A student of a local Lahore college, affiliated with the University of London, topped the world. Students who have done well and young professionals doing well can join together to make a stronger Pakistan.
The young law students, through a youth clinic, can provide pro bono legal advice to the under privileged sections of the society. They can hold seminars to create awareness about labor exploitation, fundamental rights, and women rights, among others.
Fashion and Design discipline has become popular in most universities in the urban areas. Graduating students can provide skills training to men and women from poorer sections of the society in fabric cutting, designing and stitching.
For medical practitioners and graduating students, the Youth Clinic can become an opportunity to teach basic emergency and first aid services. They can educate people about basic hygiene, illness prevention, treating minor burns and CPR.
Those graduating in finance can help teach people simple procedures like opening a bank account and availing loans for small scale businesses, especially the under privileged but educated women. Business management graduates can help people set up small businesses. They can further help in educating how to avoid pitfalls in businesses along with guidance on certification and documentation. Those seeking jobs may be taught to prepare their Resumes and how to present themselves during job interviews. Finally, those who cannot afford business college degrees can be given guidance in affordable, time restricted diploma courses.
An IT laboratory with basic computers can help teach people the use of computer, Microsoft Office and related skills. College graduates majoring in Islamic Studies and/or attaining a Master’s degree must share knowledge on Islamic tenants on a basic level. This is an area that require attention as there is an immense confusion and misdirection by uneducated Mullahs.
It is now upon the PTI government to form a coherent youth policy and develop a volunteer force of educated youth who could play their part in the quest for a Naya (New) Pakistan, as claimed by Khan and in his party’s manifesto.
There is a dire need to impart skills and awareness from grass roots. Instead of looking towards outsiders help us out, we can galvanize our bright youngsters to join hands with the government and develop basic programmes for the populace. Engagement of our youth in developing a robust Pakistan, a prosperous Pakistan and a better Pakistan is a must. Our youth can be the agents of change in Pakistan. We need to systematically programme our needs, map our programme direction and implement it in spirit.
The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled ‘A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan.’ She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org and tweets at @yasmeen_9