LAHORE - A number of social evils are prevalent in our society. These have become chronic, nay, even more than that. This is so because in the first instance, no attempt on strong, regular and concrete basis has been made to curb menaces like beggary, corruption, dowry, so on and so forth. And, if some effort was ever made over the years, it was just half hearted lasting not so long to check and curb the evil. The result was that the evils continued to persist and those assigned with the onerous responsibility started looking the other way. Take for instance social evil of beggary. The social menace has not only persisted in all its manifestations but in fact grown to such extent that it is very difficult to find a street or road or locality in the provincial metropolis which is free from beggars: children, women and men of all ages, attired in rags and also in modern dresses, putting on hijab on the faces. They are all here, there and every where. As a matter of fact, beggary, too, has thus become a fashion to which more and more people are getting attracted as well as addicted. There are Social Welfare Departments at the federal and provincial levels. There are non-governmental organizations as well who profess to fight ,curb social evils and in most cases are never seen in action on the streets, roads and crossings. They prefer to sit in their cosy offices comfortably and social menace of beggary goes on unabated, unchecked with mushroom growth quite visible. While the government agencies and their personnel keep sitting idle here and there, the beggar community keep on trying and adopting new techniques and tactics to seek more and more money by chasing and coercing the people in all possible manners. More about the beggars, begging techniques, the beggar community and how they dress, move around etc some other time in this little column. Abuse of official facilities: Misuse, abuse and exploitation of official facilities in particular the vehicles have also become a chronic habit among the government functionaries right from the top to the bottom. Federal and Provincial Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries in the National and Provincial Assemblies, Chairmen of the various Standing Committees, peoples elected representatives, government functionaries in grades 17 and above all are using, misusing and abusing the officially provided or available transport facilities with or without entitlement as such. Green number plates bearing vehicles of all makes and sizes including luxury cars as well can be seen in pretty good numbers outside educational institutions, commercial markets, shopping centres, hospitals and less in or around the Civil Secretariat and other government offices any time in the day time or evening time. What is more deplorable, shameful and condemnable in this regard is the bitter fact that the government functionaries who also own their own private cars still insist on driving the green number plates cars. And, their grown up children also in the first instance learn driving on official cars and then start going around to visiting their friends and relatives also in their fathers/ mothers official vehicles. Official vehicles placed at the disposal of senior functionaries can be used for duly prescribed mileage, say about 1200 miles, in a month inclusive of both official and private use. Over and above the prescribed limit, the user official has to make payment at the fixed rate, whatever this may be. But such payment for use of the official transport over sand above the prescribed free limit is not made in most of the cases into the treasury on one pretext or the other. Surveys have been conducted from time to time of official number plates vehicles parked outside educational institution, in the shopping centres and markets, the users duly identified and notified but every time the result has been just zero. In all fairness, the Federal and Provincial Governments need to frame the policies afresh regarding entitlement of official transport by the public servants in different grades and also keeping in view the nature of jobs involving field work or residence to office and back. While doing so, it should be ensured that luxury cars are only utilized by the VVIPs and the VIPs, that too sparingly, and not allotted to officials of any category whatsoever. Senior functionaries in most cases have to move between the official residences and offices or at most to receive and see off the VVIPs, foreign guests, etc., and as such they do not need air -conditioned luxury coaches as such. To be honest and fair, this scribe is not in favour of import of luxury vehicles even by the private sector what to talk about public sector for more than one reason. Besides the government functionaries, the use of the official transport by the Ministers, Chairmen of the Standing Committees, Parliamentary Secretaries should also be kept to the barest minimum possible. One can understand allocation of official transport to the Ministers but such a facility is provided, quite unnecessarily, to the Parliamentary Secretaries and the Chairmen of the Standing Committees at the national and provincial levels. Unlike the Ministers, they are not required to travel around at all and are duly paid for attending various meetings which are normally held on the legislatures premises. As a matter of fact, official transport was not provided to the Parliamentary Secretaries and the Chairmen of the Standing Committees some years back. Then one day a Chief Minister obviously to appease them ordered provision of official vehicles to them also. Since misuse, abuse of official transport has also become a menace like beggary etc., it is imperative that the print and electronic media should play their due role in this regard by showing the official number plates vehicles moving around educational institutions and elsewhere on the screen and publication of the photographs in the newspapers with number and official concerned name and designation. Such public exposure may force the abusers of the official transport to restrain them. Surely, this will be a great service to the resources-starved nation and the country which are suffering a great deal on this count alone. General Ghulam Jilani Khan: Quite sometime back, in the late 1980s the then Punjab Governor Lt General Ghulam Jilani Khan had tried to introduce a novel method of keeping the use of the official transport to the barest minimum. For going to a function in Sheikhupura from Lahore, air conditioned luxury coach was hired. The Governor himself and the Secretaries and senior officials concerned together travelled in the coach boarding it from a fixed point. But the purpose was intentionally flouted mercilessly as many of those forced to sit on the coach had asked the drivers to follow it with empty official cars. Such instances galore and would be mentioned in this column from time to time.