All of us can contribute
How many times have all of us talked about the need to take charge of our own environment, our own city, and do something about making it the kind of place we would like it to be? How many times have we complained about companies, political parties and individuals defacing public property? About the lack of cleanliness and the large number of garbage dumps all over the place.
I remember suggesting in an earlier post that the CDGK should not allow organizations to deface flyovers in the city with posters and painted advertisements. The City Nazim has now said that defacing of public property will be considered a criminal act. I hope implementation will be possible. More power to him for wanting to do something about it.
There seem to have begun several initiatives in the city of Karachi to improve the look, the cleanliness, the traffic situation, etc. Some of these include:
- The “I own Karachi” initiative started by the CDGK.
- The Community Police who have been directing traffic.
- People planting trees.
- Communities taking charge of their localities/markets and cleaning them up.
- Beaches being cleaned by young children as part of school activities.
- The latest initiatives are the activities started by Loose Ends. Some of you will remember the white horses at Seaview being painted a couple of months ago. Yesterday Loose Ends/Samaa TV involved the community in the removing of posters and graffiti from the Baloch Flyover, painting it afresh (this was done by families including young kids). Indus Valley and Karachi University students then painted brighter/prettier graphics over it. This is a great start and I hope this will act as a catalyst for many more such community-led initiatives . I remember we had discussed the need to have more art around the city, and how art students should be involved in creating a more aesthetically-pleasing environment. Well, these guys have actually gone out and done something. I had intended to go and clean and paint my 2′ x 2′ space on the flyover yesterday but felt too ill to venture out.
The Citizens Archive of Pakistan have started an important project for the archival of Pakistan’s history and its culture. CAP is dedicated to creating and archiving material produced by and for the citizens of Pakistan. In the future, CAP hopes to create an institution that can hold archives of the stories of the people of Pakistan in a variety of media.
There are of course many telemedicine and e-Health initiatives that are taking place and some companies have taken on the mantle of educating the children of their factory workers.
Perhaps if, in addition to this, each industry starts to archive information about its heroes, its innovators, its successful entrepreneurs (and by success, I don’t mean just financial success), its inventors, its ideapreneurs, there will be a feel-good culture that would emerge that would then spur us on to tackle some of the really big issues. The heroes would also be a source of inspiration for current and coming generations.
We will be starting this at P@SHA by recognizing technologists and entrepreneurs in the IT sector (both local and expat Pakistanis). We have talked about it for a while but it’s time we got started.
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