Poverty Alleviation Through Enterprise Development

By: Asama Bhadelia

Entreprise Development

Enterprise development has and continues to exist as a beacon hope amongst the private sector.

“Enterprises have been the core of the economic fabric of Pakistan as the country lacks industrial growth in each sector causing fewer job opportunities in percentage comparison to the population growth.”

Karachi: Since decades, poverty alleviation has been a subject of interest amongst the international community. In the midst of unfortunate economic state of affairs in Pakistan, entrepreneurship and enterprise development has and continues to exist as a beacon hope amongst the private sector.

The term “poverty” is often understood as a negative connotation for a lack of resources, leading a certain segment of the society to become a part of the lower-income strata. This in definition only explains a type of poverty which according to United Nations, Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is known as income poverty . Income poverty prevails when a family’s earnings fail to meet a federally established threshold which may vary from country to country.

The main reason for prevailing poverty in our society is the income disparity leading to the formation of classes among the society. It is true that rich is getting richer and poor is getting poorer. If you look at examples of developing nations such as Bangladesh, Vietnam,  we find emerging middle class, on the contrary, in Pakistan the upper middle class seems to be moving towards the upper class and lower middle class is continuously forced to become a part of lower class. In the midst of this situation, we have numerous economic welfare organizations, social workers & social enterprises that are working towards uplifting the strata of the society in hopes of improving the situation.

The country is fortunate to have people and organizations that believe education and technical expertise are two areas which when instilled among the generations can bolster the economic situation of multiple strata of the society. Enterprises have been the core of the economic fabric of Pakistan as the country lacks industrial growth in each sector causing fewer job opportunities in percentage comparison to the population growth.

The NOGs and Social Enterprises with the support of international Developmental sector is working on the roots of Nano & Small Enterprise development for the grassroots of the society in rural, suburban and urban slums areas of the country which leads to convenient livelihood of poor. This is now getting popular amongst the development sector to create a sustainable livelihood for the people living below poverty line for two major reasons, firstly that they can live independently in the long run and secondly to decrease the crime rate of the society as many researches proves an indirect relation between employment and crime rate of societies.

In Karachi, recently known area of gang wars and warlords is now turning into a peaceful area, and the main reason to this change is through awareness and development of youth towards enterprise development of small scale where they have been provided trainings and minor resources to start their own mini-ventures which will create livelihood and will also provide them activity to look forward to in their daily routine which keeps them away from violent and criminal activities. This is a much needed transformation all over the country to bring lower class including extreme poverty population towards betterment of society as a whole and living standards as individual.

We can take few examples where people from slum has grown to be entrepreneurs and changed the way people think of these slums as permanent & dependent structure of the society. Abdur-Rehman, 57, was a known co-ordinator of one the gangs of lyari for more than a decade. Couple of years back when his own son was murdered in one of the same incident, made him realise the actual end to these activities. Abdur-Rehman was then approached by one the social enterprise to attend their courses for self-development program of 2 months duration which took him away from these activities and now it is almost an year he is the only key-maker of his street, this has given him respect and reputation rather than fear from the people residing in that vicinity.

People like Adur-Rehman can change the perception of entrepreneurship on grassroots which can eventually set up example for current unemployed or distracted people to make their own sustainable model of livelihood without dependency or being part of violent activities of any kind. Education and inculcation of this thought process in minds of lower class as well as extreme poverty population is very important as Job market situation is very tight to absorb all the supply, even at its lowest level.

The writer is a Associate Trainer, Associate Manager and Project Coordinator at a social enterprise, SEED.

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Posted in Economy, Entrepreneurship, Extremism, Poverty, Social Development, Sustainable Development | Leave a comment

Life of Minorities in Pakistan

By: Sanam Daswani

Pakistan Megachurch

Religious discrimination in Pakistan has always been a serious issue which is neither resolved nor discussed.

“We are Pakistani first, our ancestors were Pakistani, our blood is Pakistani, our nationality is Pakistani, we follow Pakistani culture, we live Pakistan, we breathe Pakistan and we are humans of Pakistan. Let treat us as a Pakistani, an independent human being.”

Karachi: “Minorities in Pakistan”, the most controversial topic in Pakistan, and a topic everyone is afraid to talk about. This is label for some and identity of many.  Why is it so? Why every minor out there wants to talk about the issues that they are facing, but they cannot. Why their voice is slashed even before it’s raised? Is being a non Muslim a mistake in Pakistan?

Out of 14 points of Quaid-e-Azam there is a point that every Muslim and non Muslim have equal rights of living in Pakistan. So why have we to beg for peace, justice, respect, authority, trust at every single step at every place. Continue reading

Posted in Extremism, Governance, Human Rights, Pakistan Social Issue, Peace & Conflict, Peace and Conflict | 1 Comment

The Burnt Faces

By: Urooj Alnoor

Uuntil women themselves are not going to unite for the sake of raising their voice, without hesitation, no possible change could be brought.  ILLUSTRATION: Raja Taimur Hassan

Until women themselves are not going to unite for the sake of raising their voice, without hesitation, no possible change could be brought. ILLUSTRATION: Raja Taimur Hassan

Women who try to speak up, for themselves, are forced to keep quiet, which is the only reason why Pakistan is this far from providing women their rights.”

Karachi: “She has got a burnt face” cried a girl while pointing at Zainab.  The statement made Zainab realize the bitter tragedy she had been through a few months back.  Being an acid attack victim, Zainab knew she had to get used to the bullying, unpleasant stares, and disgusted looks; a common mode the society acquires to respond to an acid victim.

The Pakistanis have always been intolerant in nature.  Rather than pondering upon a situation, that comes their way, they prefer to remain reactive, while taking an immediate action with respect to the same.  This nature of our society has led the system to deteriorate to the core, while giving rise to crucial social problems such as acid attacks on women. Continue reading

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SOLVING SOCIAL ISSUES OF PAKISTAN

By: Hamza Shahid

Karachi: Pakistan has just celebrated sixty eight years of its independence.  However, we have yet to solve our social issues. Poverty, poor education system, Unhygienic food, woman discrimination, child labor, drugs, human trafficking and poor health care system are just some of the social issues that our country faces.

Pakistan is renowned for generous donors. We receive millions worth of dollars from our overseas Pakistanis and international donor agencies, such as USAID, UKAID and AUSAID etc. So where does all these money go? And why we still haven’t we been able to solve any one of those problems?

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The Kasur Scandal – Uncovering the truth about child abuse in Pakistan

By: Syed Shayan Mustafa Jaffar

The Kasur child abuse scandal exposes the utter failure of institutions in the country.  ILLUSTRATION: Raja Taimur Hassan

The Kasur child abuse scandal exposes the utter failure of institutions in the country. ILLUSTRATION: Raja Taimur Hassan

Karachi: Owing to severe protests by the suffering families, the recent largest ever child abuse scandal in Pakistan’s history, exposes the utter failure of institutions in the country.  The scandal also exposes the performance and major lope holes in the overall institutional framework of the country.  

Hussain Khan Wala village in the Kasur district of Punjab, which neighbors the provincial capital Lahore, is the eye of the storm. Therefore to the outside eye, it really does beg the question, whether the legislature itself and its statutory institutions turned a blind eye toward the whole debacle. How does something this horrific, which is happening right under their nose, go on for years without them noticing even once? How do we make a case for Pakistan being a safe country, when it can’t even protect its own children, whether they’re being slaughtered in Peshawar or being robbed of their childhood in Kasur? The answer to whether Pakistan has failed its children is glaring right at us.

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