Politics and economic crisis have circumstanced us so that we forget all other areas we need to be active. For example, we forget about many social welfare jobs, sports, quality education, cooperative and collaborative work, and wholesome entertainment for the kids. These are the beautiful days for morning walks, but we see quite a lower turnout of the joggers in the parks. Experts tell us that when the sun’s early rays are seen, that is the best time to walk in the parks, gardens, and lawns in the early morning. Trees and plants stop making oxygen at night and early morning is the time when oxygen bursts abruptly, and we find treasurer of oxygen under trees and plants.
Our lungs washing with this abundant oxygen keeps us fresh whole the day. But there are very few people who are benefitted from this gift of nature. Our cell phones as well as social media are wasting so much of our time. Until decades of the sixties and seventies, there were so many community-based organizations in our villages and cities. People were doing so much cooperative work under these organizations. These platforms themselves did so much welfare work. For other needs like basic health units, roads, and schools, they were trained enough to approach the authorities concerned and pursue them constantly for doing something to provide these facilities.
Nowadays, politics has haunted ordinary folks so much that they have lost confidence to get things done by the relevant offices. The welfare societies registered in villages, mohallas, and housing colonies level can change the destiny of the populace. Unfortunately, administration of the most housing societies is in the hands of developers. They discourage the organizing of any welfare society in their colonies/societies. The welfare societies play a pivotal role in bringing the communities closer and starting cooperative works, using links for collective welfare, eradicating crimes, and keeping the communities neat and green. They can do an excellent job in the promotion of healthy activities. The word wonderful reminds us of the Wonderful Club of Lahore’s EME, working under the patronage of Malik Iqbal Hussain.
This club is arranging regular exercise sessions at many places in Lahore city and doing many other things to bring the community members closer. In the absence of any welfare societies, many problems emerge in the communities which remain unattended. For example, in Lahore city, there is widespread construction of unspecified speed-breakers all around. These speed breakers are unmarked and without any warning everywhere. There are many areas where every street has speed-breakers double the number of the houses. People don’t have to ask anyone for the construction of these speeds-breakers. On Lahore canal bank, different housing societies have constructed speed-breakers on both sides of their main gates. Many organizations have fixed cat-eye iron plates as speed-breakers which are fatal for vehicles’ tires. People have a general opinion about the fixing of these cat-eyes.
They say that this is a ‘conspiracy’ of some companies against the vehicle owners to enhance sales. The responsible officers earn big kickbacks against these cat-eyes, or they are supplied free from the tire companies. If the cat-eyes are fixed for demarking the lanes or pointing out the brinks of the roads, they are not bad, but when they are set across the street as speed breakers, they are awful. Many times, we face pits on the main roads. One can’t take another lane suddenly after viewing a hole in front of him, resultantly bearing the jolts and bumps is our fate. Moreover, it is said that Lahore’s roads are dumb, and the law is active. We can’t find any sign of a speed limit on Lahore roads.
Pit holes, bumpy roads, the main road ahead, ascending, descending, slow, school, no U-turn-hospital, and yield signs are not found on Lahore roads. Dozens of purse and cell snatching cases are registered daily, but scoundrels are doing their work freely despite a magnificent camera network. Experts are issuing warnings about the dangerous position of Lahore’s underground water deposits, but no one is taking it seriously. The Deputy Commissioner’s office is issuing a price list daily, but there is no one to get it implemented. It is a job that can be performed nicely by social welfare societies. The devoted and honest political workers can organize such organizations themselves with a zeal to serve the nation.
With 50 years of teaching experience, Professor Dr. Shafiq Jullandhry, a noted writer and author of award-winning books, is a former chairman of Punjab University’s Mass Communication Department (now School of Communication Studies); also heads Elaaf Club and Global Media Guild as president. He can be reached at email@example.com