KARACHI: Advisor to Chief Minister Sindh on Culture Sharmila Farooqui has said that Sindh government would bring a new population policy in four months, which was in process by Sindh population welfare department in collaboration with United Nation Population Fund.
Addressing a seminar organized by Sindh population welfare department to mark the World Population Day at a local hotel, Farooqui said that there was no effective development plan in the country due to absence of actual figures of population. “We are allocating funds in each sector without determining the need,” she said adding that census in the country would help allocate funds as per requirement in each department.
She said that Opposition Leader in National Assembly Khursheed Shah had asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to carry out a census in the country in order to build up a development plan as per age bracket.
Sharmila said that the youth needs better opportunities of employment, health and education and access of youth to these things would lead the country to become a prosperous nation. She said that likewise other development polices, a national youth development policy should also be formed to provide opportunities to the young generation.
She said that population control debate had faced a severe backlash in country. “Sindh took the lead in promulgating the Sindh Child Restraint Marriage Act but it faced a severe criticism from Council of Islamic Ideology,” she said.
Speaking on the occasion, United Nation Population Fund’s Sindh Coordinator Shrutidhar Tiripathi said that Pakistan had a youth bulge as its 60 percent of the population comprises of people less than 29 years. “This youth bulge has enormous advantages for the growth of the country, however, it also has some disadvantages,” he said.
He said that 70 percent of the Pakistani youth is literate which includes 85 percent literacy in urban areas and 55 percent in rural areas. He also called to end disparity among gender and said that women should be provided opportunities to come forward and play their role in the progress of the country.
Tiripathi said that majority of the girls do not utilize their education in practical fields due to early marriages. He said that 50 percent of the women are married before 20 years which not only creates problems for the mother but also effect infant mortality rate.
Head of Karachi University Sociology Department Dr Fateh Mohammad said: “The countries like Pakistan, Indian and Bangladesh are young with 60 percent youth population while Japan, USA and China are old due to less number of youth populations.”
He cited lack of education and playgrounds as the major reason of intolerance among youth and unrest in the country. Fifty percent of Pakistani youth do not go to schools and those who go and acquire higher education do not have better opportunities of employment,” he said adding that this creates resentment among youth. He said that the number of women were also increasing in prisons which also showed trends of intolerance among women.
Medical Officer Civil Hospital Dr Rukhsana said that adolescent children hesitate to discuss issues regarding their health and changes in their body when they reach the age of puberty. She said that subjects of child nutrition and health should be included in school curriculums to create awareness among the children. She also called for providing knowledge to couples regarding family planning before their marriage.
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