By: Usman Akhter
Celebrating Independence Day rekindles a sense of patriotism and revives a feel of responsible citizenship. This helps the country progress as citizens feel a sense of belonging. This leads to harmony, forbearance, inclusiveness, and a desire to achieve great heights for Pakistan. Therefore, celebration of Pakistan’s Independence Day symbolises unity, brotherhood, social equity and peace for all generations to come.
10 Days for Pakistan was an initiative aimed at promoting unity, acceptance, diversity and patriotic sentiment for a progressive Pakistan. Due to the turbulent socioeconomic situation of Pakistan, initiatives like 10 Days for Pakistan are the need of the hour. When the birth of Pakistan is celebrated with such grandeur, individuals not only feel proud and dignified to be a Pakistani, but they also get an opportunity to have a relaxing time with their friends and family.
By organizing events in Lahore, a three-day Azadi Mela in Walled City of Lahore with the collaboration of Walled City Authority of Lahore and Chief Minister Special Monitoring Unit, the local participants from Lahore are provided an opportunity to explore the historical Old City with its magnificent gates and busy market places. By doing so, the participants feel a sense of belonging and the message of the campaign being carried out is effectively transmitted.
The public sector plays a crucial role for the development and progress of a country. Therefore, collaboration with public institutions is vital to spreading the campaign message more effectively as support is easily provided for the cause. It is imperative to make sure the public sector is part of a campaign to ensure its success.
A number of outcomes were a result of 10 Days for Pakistan, such as promotion of tolerance and inclusiveness, a sense of equal citizenship and social cohesion. The campaign participants included religious minorities too. Christian youth from Youhanabad actively participated in the Arz-e-Pakistan March and the 3-Day Musical Evening. Female participation was also encouraged and historical knowledge was communicated by the Walled City of Lahore Authority to the participants, especially the youth who have never had the opportunity to explore Old Lahore.
The campaign helped promote inclusiveness, peace and harmony through art, culture and music. By doing so, the participants were proud to identify themselves as Pakistanis and were incentivised to work for Pakistan’s progress.
In our society, janitorial services are considered inferior and the individuals who take up these jobs are disregarded and disrespected. It is our duty to ensure that this negative stereotyping comes to an end and janitors are provided equal opportunities to succeed in society and given the respect they deserve. To promote a sense of equal citizenship, Mr. Aziz a janitor from ages was invited as the chief guest on 12th August 2017 on the event of commemoration of Independence Day at PILAC, Lahore. By highlighting his services, individuals were sensitised and a message to respect servicemen like him was spread efficiently.
Mr Aziz said, “As a Khakrob, I have never been respected to such a great extent. People never appreciate our services, but our efforts help not only keep the environment clean, but make sure that Lahore retains its scenic beauty. I see little children just throwing litter everywhere and their families not discouraging them. It’s not just little children, but also educated people in lavish cars who do the same. If you cannot stop yourself from simply littering, how do you expect Pakistan to progress socially, politically and economically?”
Majority of the children in Pakistan are brought up in such a way that disparity between the rich upper class and poor working class is accentuated and is passed on from one generation to the next. Other than this, our school curriculum does not encourage students to respect and consider people with these jobs equal to them. Therefore, the intolerance is internally embedded in our mindsets.