Monthly Archives: October 2012

Librarians as teachers

By Zubeida Mustafa

AT the Children’s Literature Festival in Quetta last month, the provincial education secretary had promised to make provisions for a library in every government school in Balochistan.

If this actually materialises, the province will certainly have something to boast about. A school without a library is like a body without a soul. Can you expect students to love reading if they are not immersed in a world of books that a library creates? Continue reading Librarians as teachers

Malala and GMR 2012

By Zubeida Mustafa

EXACTLY a week before Unesco launched its 10th Global Monitoring Report 2012 (GMR) on Oct 16, Malala Yousufzai, Pakistan’s child campaigner for the right of education for girls, was shot in the head by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. Pauline Rose, editor of the Monitoring Report, termed the attack a “tragedy” in a country where there are still over three million girls out of school.

The attack on Malala and her two companions shocked Pakistan. This shock also galvanised the nation as thousands rose with one voice to condemn the Taliban. Continue reading Malala and GMR 2012

No ray of hope

By Zubeida Mustafa

IN a society where mental illness carries a stigma and is shrouded in superstitious beliefs, the Pakistan Association for Mental Health (PAMH) has done a creditable job of spreading some public awareness about disorders of the mind.

However, that is not enough. Even if a person’s problem is diagnosed, then what? Treatment is expensive. Psychiatrists are few in number in proportion to the sufferers.
There is little government support for this branch of healthcare as is evident from the Sindh government’s indifference towards its responsibility of drawing up the Mental Health Act to replace the Ordinance of 2001 and frame rules to implement it. Continue reading No ray of hope

Six ways to ward off morbid thoughts

By Zubeida Mustafa

Here are some tips which have helped me ward off the blues – at least in times like these when the going is tough.

  1. Resort to the “Kitchen Table Wisdom” strategy. Actually this should be a part of people’s life on a continuing basis and not just when they are upset. In a nutshell, it requires family and friends to share their stories – mainly their experiences of the day on a daily basis. Continue reading Six ways to ward off morbid thoughts

Violence in the home

By Zubeida Mustafa

A BANKER in New York aims a vase at his wife. She ducks and is not hit. She calls the police. The husband is arrested and spends five years in prison after a court trial.

A police officer in Karachi beats up his wife at the slightest provocation. She is badly bruised but has no way of seeking relief. This is a story heard in every third household in Pakistan.

According to the Aurat Foundation’s annual report, 610 women were victims of domestic violence in the country in 2011 — a 50 per cent rise over the previous year. AF, however, feels that this is the most under-reported of all crimes against women and only the most shocking cases come to light. Continue reading Violence in the home