Pakistan is a country that has usually been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons. Be it the lack of internal cohesion, the scourge of terrorism, the incapacity of the leadership to effectively wade through the conundrums plaguing the country or the widespread prevalence of social ills such as child sexual abuse or gender discrimination; each one of the factors has not only defamed us on the international front but has also made us hopeless regarding the unpredictable future.

Adding insult to the injury, our media has always stressed on the negatives rather than positives, making all of us believe in the notion that perhaps humanity has withered, with little hope of return or revival. Amidst such a pessimistically constricted environment, doubting the existence of goodness in human hearts is but natural. Being a part of the same environment, there were times when I too personally felt that real goodness is nothing but a mere façade, a mask behind which opportunist souls are plotting to pound on you.

However, a recent visit to the AFJOG (Association of Fatima Jinnah Old Graduates) community centre, based in Garden Town Lahore, simply changed my perspective on this contention. Founded in 1983, by the old graduates of Fatima Jinnah Medical University, with the sole aim of assisting the underprivileged and the destitute of the society, the institute aims to not only provide state of the art medical facilities to such families but to also provide quality primary education to children coming from such backgrounds. Witnessing helpless individuals being cared for in a rather hospitable manner, made me realise how institutions as such are doing what the government in fact needs to accomplish. And what they demand in return is nothing besides a little bit of acknowledgement and encouragement of the endeavour they are engaged in.

The visit made me realise that Pakistan may be embroiled in a mesh of conundrums, recovery from which seems an onerous task, but that does not necessitate that there is a dearth of God fearing, humble souls in the land of the pure. There are still people out there who are rendering volunteer services, making it a point to serve humanity, charging nothing in return.

Institutes like these dot the land of Pakistan but rarely have we seen their projection in the media perhaps because their advocacy does not garner high ratings for the channels, which has sorrowfully been one of the most primary concerns of the media houses over the past decade or so.

It needs to be duly realised that a projection of such humble social endeavours needs to be rendered for they are the positive shades that ornament the face of Pakistan, manifesting the prevalence of humanity in the hearts and minds of Pakistanis.


Lahore, June 8.