Lahore - The Punjab government Wednesday marked Child Protection Day. A seminar titled ‘Protected Children, Strong Pakistan’ in collaboration with the Punjab Curriculum and Textbook Board, and Child Protection and Welfare Bureau of Punjab was held at the CM House.

NGO Sahil, Unicef and others also collaborated. Provincial ministers Rana Mashood Ahmad, Zakia Shahnawaz and Hameeda Wahiduddin,  Scholars Malana Fazalur Rahim, Maulana Raghib Naeemi and Bishop of Lahore were among the noted personalities who joined the event.

The academics called for taking more steps to raise awareness about child protection. They also called upon the government to continue with such campaigns to guard children.

Rana Mashood listed his ministry’s efforts for creating awareness while the government officials told the audience about the ongoing and upcoming drives.

Former University of Sargodha former VC Dr Akram Ch said both parents and children should be taught about how to be save the children from falling prey to such crimes. He sought media role for the purpose. Ejaz Baloch, a school principal, said this campaign should continue for a month or fortnight at least. He called for taking parents and teachers on board while running such campaigns. A schoolteacher, Muhammad Ali, said police patrol should be enhanced while more CCTV cameras should be installed near schools. Teachers Parveen Akhtar, Dr Usama and Dr Iftikhar Ahmad were among the other speakers.

Also, Institute of Education of Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) organised a seminar to mark Child Protection Day on Wednesday.  Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairman Dr Nizamuddin was the chief guest and MNA Shaista Pervez Malik was guest of honour.  The event was attended by VC Prof Dr Uzma Qureshi, Director of Institute of Education Dr Farkhanda Mazoor, Principal of Intermediate College Mahrukh Bukhari, Chairperson of Political Science Department Prof Mubina Ali, Director of DSA Bushra Nadeem and others expressed their views on the topic. The speakers on the occasions highlighted the impact of abuse on the children and the role teachers can play in sensitizing and raising awareness on self-protection. The government marked the day following the murder after rape of a little girl sparked violent protests in Kasur last month, claiming three lives.

The brutalisation of seven-year-old Zainab also sent ripples of anger and anguish across the whole country. As television channels reported on child’s gruesome murder and flashed pictures of police firing on an angry mob to check its advance to Deputy Commissioner’s office, people at large took to social media to condemn inefficiency and apathy of authorities.

All this forced the state and governmental authorities at different levels to take notice of the situation and pledge quick delivery of justice to the victims. Politicians of all hue and colour also jumped in to condemn the brutality, while some of them even tried to cash in on the situation.