The fancy concept of turning Pakistan into Riyasat-e-Madina, i-e the Islamic version of a welfare state is the very charming and fascinating concept in itself. In the state of Madina the second caliph of Islam Hazrat Umar (RA) would not let a dog go hungry fearing that he would have to give answer for it before Allah Almighty.

But where we are standing practically to achieve our goals? what to say about the other bigger goals to reach at the destination of a welfare state a 2018 nutrition map of the world shows that South Asia tops the list of the countries where the children not growing well. The entire South Asia region is marked red because according to this UNICEF study d 49.9% children in this region are either stunted, wasted overweight. The plight of children in Pakistan is worse than neighbouring countries Like Sri Lanka and India.

The right to food is a human right ,it includes protecting the right for people to feed themselves in dignity, sufficient availability of food, people’s access to it and that it adequately meets the individual’s dietary needs. The right to food protects the right of all human beings to be free from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.

https://nation.com.pk/29-Sep-2020/china-toughens-stance-on-ladakh-by-terming-it-as-illegally-established-indian-territory

Similarly the right to food is enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan. Article 38 says, The state shall provide basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing, housing, education and medical relief. But this does not mean that all of this would be provided free of cost. As Aise this is not rational or practical either.

But when we see around us, we food crisis every now and then prevalent in Pakistan in different shapes despite being an economy which is based on agriculture mainly. These days the shortage of tomatoes and the recent price hike for this day today commodity Is a very alarming symptom in an agricultural state like Pakistan. Its not that difficult to deal with search issues if we have the will to do so. All the basic needs of an individual could be met by a proper and rational planning of resources.

In a welfare state every individual is the responsibility of the state. And the state protects and promotes the economic and social well-being of the citizen. To make this dream come true i-e to turn Pakistan into riyasat a Madina, the government need to make a Holistic plan which incorporates every important aspect of human life. The first and foremost thing is to put a check on uninterrupted population growth to satisfy the basic needs of every respectable citizen In an honorable way. The other way forward is to utilise the human and natural resources in their best capacity to upgrade the living standards and to provide quality of life to the people of Pakistan. And To make the recommended things come true education and awareness is the key to success.

In his speech right after coming into power Mr Imran Khan the Prime Minister of Pakistan duly emphasized on stunted growth of children in Pakistan, and showed his concern to improve their plight on priority basis. In this month Children Day is being celebrated globally on 20th November by United Nations and in Pakistan focus on the betterment and well-being of the children. Thus It is the basic and fundamental right of every child to have access to healthy and nutritious food for healthy growth.

A body established by government of Pakistan working as Punjab Food Authority is working marvelously to ensure healthy and hygienic food for everyone particularly for kids both at home and school. It has categorised food in three colours red ,green and yellow. And has placed carbonated drinks and unhealthy snacks in red / dangerous zone .Underage children are prohibited to buy energy drinks on the counter because of its health hazards. Recently Punjab Food Authority has launched its magazine to spread awareness among the public regarding healthy eating habits.The magazine contains a kids corner where healthy and tasty lunch box ideas are shared to educate mothers to feed their kids properly and with nutritious diet.

Despite the fact that the Punjab Food Authority is working amazingly to perform its duty. There e is a lot to be done yet. This is the time to understand that a society and its population can be organised and controlled as per the resources of the country to make it meet the Criterion of a welfare state. The agriculture sector should be organised on scientific Grounds to meet the needs of the public by balancing demand and supply chain .It good earn foreign exchange by increasing Exports .But for making the dream of a welfare state come true you will need to work on proper lines in an organised way on a holistic plan to make Pakistan a better place for posterity.

AIYSHA MALIK,

Lahore.