INTIKHAB ALI & SAADIA QAMAR KARACHI - A slim, energetic and fragile but committed young lady in Sindh government is all-out to resolve those thorny issues in which her male counterparts may think many times before indulging. But adviser to Chief Minister Sindh, Sharmila Farooqui, does not hesitate to reach the spot, listen problems and resolve them quickly. She recently resolved the issue of Sabzi Mandi traders, who went on strike and stopped the supply of vegetables and fruits to Karachi. She rushed to the Sabzi Mandi in Sohrab Goth and solved the issue amicably. CM's adviser has also sorted out some major difficulties faced by the prisoners. In a detailed interview to The Nation, she said that she had focused in bringing improvement in the condition of prisoners across the province and implementation of Sindh educational reform programme. Issues of health are of prime importance to her and she has taken firm steps in this direction as she saw the deteriorating condition of Central Jail Karachi, where there were many inmates who were suffering from one disease or another. Not over-looking the gender issue, she felt that the entire set up of the inmates needs to be revitalised. In her Jail Reform Report, she has given directives to upgrade the jail hospital, improve bathroom floors and building of more barracks for the inmates. At present, the Central Jail can accommodate only 3,200 prisoners, but a large number of 7,800 inmates are languishing there. The inmates are suffering from scabies, HIV and Hepatitis C - a disease which she described as a 'Death Warrant' if left untreated. "I have a close affiliation with the Central Jail, Karachi because my father was locked up here for eight long years." Sharmila said that she had recommended for the up-gradation of Jail Hospital and establishing a jail ward at the Civil Hospital for the prisoner patients who were suffering from diseases due to lack of treatment facilities. She strongly believes in getting the issues identified and believes the wastage of funds would only hamper growth in a democratic set up. She believes that there should be transparency. Noticing the deteriorating education system in Sindh, she said that nearly 50 per cent of the total child population, aged 5-15 years, were still not going to school. And 70 per cent of girls in rural Sindh had never attended the schools. She said that a comprehensive report on the ruined educational system in Sindh had been prepared by the Reform Support Unit and a complete survey had been conducted all over the Sindh. She noticed each and every mess prevailing in the education system and reported in the reforms report to address the problems. She regretted that according to the reforms report, 3.8 million children are out of schools in rural Sindh and this number is doubled in urban Sindh. She further said that Sindh education sector was currently facing the challenges that less than 50 per cent of children enrolled for complete primary schooling. Less than 50 per cent of rural girls who completed primary schooling continue their middle school. Sharmila observed that after hectic efforts the provincial government has identified the problems in education sector and according to the Sindh education reform programme, a mid term reform programme has been perceived targeting issues of access, quality and governance. The reform programme would be supported by World Bank Credit and European Commission Education Grant and Technical Assistance. She believes that schooling and education is must for a girl-child and hence she should not be treated as a domain of liability. Sharmila lays emphasis on women empowerment and equal representation. With issues of massive corruption that has taken toll of the City in the recent past, she believes that she can do all that within the given time frame to make a difference.