Karim Muhammad Khan
Are we responsible citizens? I think as citizens our reluctant attitude with other human beings as well as our unfriendly behavior with our physical milieu i.e surrounding, wildlife, forest, sanitation, water and energy seems to negate the notion of being responsible citizens. For instance, we are deficient in showing decent and disciplined manner in work and public places especially in making queue and waiting for our turn as everyone seems in hurry to get one’s task done earlier than others. At times, individuals get infuriated and begin to scuffle with each other and even killings are reported over minor issue.
Furthermore, our approach to the environment where we are residing is less worth looking as our streets, footpaths, bazaars, public places, picnic points, water channel, road sides are plunked and piled with garbage and littered and every day our beautiful land is getting spoiled and filthy.
It is frequently experienced that not to mention of illiterate people but even educated ones are pathetic and absurd towards their surroundings by throwing wrappers, fruit skins and litters on the ground openly without realizing that they are further adding to the land pollution.
In addition, our roads are less safe as traffic rules are violated by immature and careless drivers and road users. Pakistan has said to be the highest ratio of road accidents in South Asian countries. Owing to which thousands of precious lives are lost every year. Besides, energy is yet another important sector where wastage, misuse and even theft are frequently reported due to which our country has been experiencing load shedding and power breakdown for the last several years.
This shows that something important are missing while imparting education to new generation as it has merely become source of gathering facts, knowledge, getting certificates and degrees for employment purpose while character building, civic sense and developing responsible citizens in children and adults seems lacking.
However, inculcating constructive habits such as respecting others ideas and taking care of others rights; getting sensitized regarding cleanliness, wildlife conservation; careful usage of energy and water; showing patriotism and abiding by law of the land can indeed alleviate social and environmental issues.
In addition, certain measures like good citizenship education and the spirit of civic sense should be part of school, college and university curriculum. Faculty staff should not only teach and preach students but also demonstrate responsible citizens pragmatically. Besides, programmes and walks need to be held intermittently in educational institutions in order to develop positive habits among their students and even parents should also be made aware and sensitized regarding social and physical environment related issues.
Finally, electronic, print and social media can better contribute in mitigating social and environmental issues by arranging different programmes and publishing letters and articles in their papers. Local government administrations and municipal committee can also play their role in mobilizing communities in keeping their environment clean and green. Last but not least, law must take its due course against any social violation and environmental degradation committed by any individual or group.