KARACHI  - Omer Aftab, an activist and chief executive of LifeLine Tuesday announced to raise awareness and advocacy campaign on reproductive health rights of Pakistani youth.

Only 29 per cent girls and 41 per cent boys have access to correct information about puberty and hygiene in Pakistan.

“It would be focussed on addressing the physical and emotional challenges of adolescents and also to suggest ways to handle them,” he said.

The activist said that our religion Islam itself discusses adulthood through Quran and Sunnah to teach right practices. “We have consulted a large number of religious scholars from three sects in this regard who have further educated us on the religious aspect of these matters,” said Omer Aftab.

These scholars were of unanimous opinion that importance of right guidance for adolescents could not be ignored as at the very first step lack of proper guidance can lead the children to choose wrong company and fall for bad habits.

Lamenting the fact that there is no serious effort to sensitize 100 million youth on these issues, Omer Aftab acknowledged that taking care of the emotional, psychological and health aspects of growing up children are easier said than done in Pakistan where despite media emancipation, the issue remains a taboo for wider section of society.

Highlighting the attitude of parents, he said there are parents who for various reasons, do not want to answer to questions relating to psychological and physiological issues.

“Hence the project also targets the caretakers (parents and teachers) and motivate them to discuss these issues with their children/students without any inhibition so that the youth may not indulge in self exploration of information out of their natural urge,” he elaborated.

“The emotional and physical changes taking place during adolescence,” he added.

, “play an important role in forming the personality traits of the youth as the remaining years of life merely become reflection of those traits.”

Underlining the importance of acquiring proper information and guidance on the subject, he feared absence of proper information and reluctance to share any such information may lead to self-deduced and half-baked facts that may develop certain fallacies, far removed from reality and may in some cases, lead to exploitation.

Aftab reiterated that our religion does not forbid us from discussing or imparting proper guidance to the children on these sensitive issues.

“It may be recalled here that growing age introduces hyperactivity of hormones that results into emotional ups and downs for youth and as a result they may face multi faceted adjustment problems in society,” he said.