A few days back, I came across a tweet from a highly educated young man who was busy making efforts to get a hashtag on education trending in Pakistan for a local NGO. The young man, who has recently graduated from UK and spent most of his life abroad, comes from a strong and influential political family of Balochistan.

He was busy posting pictures on his Twitter timeline on the status of education in Balochistan and was repeatedly complaining about the retrograding condition of education in the province. His tweets made me wonder whether coming from the same province and being born in a socially high class, was he so helpless on the provincial education condition as his tweets showed him to be? He could carry out a mass campaign and benefit children of, at least, his district. Having all the social and financial perks and privileges at his disposal, could he not provide underprivileged children with basic education instead of whining over what Pakistan has been missing in the field since its inception?

Sitting in the financial hub of Pakistan, Karachi, the city of lights, lousing on a snug couch, tweeting from his highly expensive smartphone (which he might have bought from abroad), was he actually making fun of the deprived people of Balochistan who have no option but to face a lifetime of domination by the sardars who hold the whip hand? Is it not ironic and unfortunate that the same sardars spend their lives abroad, while the underprivileged in their province lack opportunities and access to basic education?

Youth has a lot of potential in Pakistan and I personally believe that every educated individual should be working towards imparting education to at least one child in his or her locality. In this way, we will not only be reducing the Government’s burden but also will be giving back to society. Our people currently face potential divisions along many lines. Taking the responsibility of education of one underprivileged child can also be a recipe for fixing this drawback and can lead us towards understanding each other better in multitude ways. We would not only be enlightening children with their basic right of education but also ourselves.

Mr. Asif Khuhro (not from the political Khuhro family), a young chartered accountant hailing from Naudero, a small town in District Larkana, is an employee of a government office in Karachi. After working for long hours on weekdays, he spends his weekends with the children of low-income areas of Karachi to enlighten them with education – a basic human right. He has been doing this since 2011 when he and his friends formed an NGO which adopted 2 schools from the Sindh Government. This group of young men now provides the schools with basic administrative as well as teaching facilities in a low-income area of Karachi. Asif says that he has himself been to a government school and has been a victim of bullying and academic arrogance. Therefore, as a person who has been there, done that, he realised how important it was to be a beacon of light for the future generations of our country. While he dreams big – i.e. bringing revolutionary changes to the entire education system of Pakistan – he still is optimistic and is contributing his small share to educate some of the underprivileged children of our country.

Citing this comparison between the elite and the working class youth, my idea is not to pinpoint a certain faction or a certain class. I would humbly say that hashtags would help Pakistani millennials gain followers, or a verified account on social media, but it would not improve the lives of the underprivileged living in our provinces, cities, districts or villages. They would still remain uneducated. Don’t we feel that the 24 million out-of-school deserve something better than a miracle tweet?

The political gurias and guddas should be well aware of the fact that it is not only the Government which has to take the initiative – as Pakistan has already too much on its plate-counter-terrorism, corruption, relations with neighbours being a few. The young lot should unplug themselves from Twitter and Facebook and practically do something to educate the destitute. If a professionally occupied man can squeeze time from his busy schedule for the underprivileged, then the people from political families can also allocate some of their time to their political constituency.

Lastly, I would say that when you give them an opportunity, they would shine for Pakistan. Education is a basic human right. We cannot always be blaming the Government for not doing enough. As responsible and educated citizens of Pakistan, it’s also our responsibility to practically take initiatives for the 24 million out-of-school #AreYouReadyToEducateAChild ?

Like Ahmad Faraz said:

Shikwa-e-zulmat-e-shab say to kahin behtar tha

Apnay hisay ki shama jalatay jatay