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PPF Seminar on Youth Development

Date: August 12, 2004
Location: Karachi

Investment in youths development crucial for intergenerational gains later was the topic of seminar organized by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) to mark United Nations International Youth Day at its Vicky Zeitlin Media Library on August 12, 2004.

Speaker at the seminar, Sindh Minister for Sports & Youth Affairs, Qamar Mansoor said government has planned to establish a separate Youth Directorate allocating Rs20 million initial budget first time in the history of province and a summary in this regard awaits approval of cabinet.

He said Youth Directorate will have seventeen (17) staff members including Director, Assistant Director and Deputy Director. “Cooperative Bank will also be established to provide loans worth Rs0.5 to Rs2.5 million to youths. Before this, not a single rupee was allocated in Sindh budget for youth affairs.”

The minister said he was keen to construct Convention Center in Sindh and plan to run it on self-finance basis. We have got one plot for the purpose, he told adding that Federal Government had refused to construct Convention Center at Karachi and Sukkur.

Provincial Youth Ministry would host a 3-day International Youth Conference in Sindh to provide interaction opportunities to youths of Pakistan and India. “This moot will provide opportunities to youths to interact in political, cultural and social perspective keeping in view emerging changes in the world,” he added.

Earlier, the other speakers urged the government to pay due attention to youths, being 62% of Pakistan‘s population, to resolve their problems by investing on them, providing employment opportunities, preventing frustration and making policies to involve youths in healthy activities.

Local Journalist, Sheher Bano, referred to a survey carried out in 1998-99 i
n Pakistan and said 56 million youth population is under 15 years of age, 13 million between 15-19, 11 million between 20-24. She said government will have to introduce alternate schemes to prevent early marriages by involving youths especially females in healthy activities. She suggested that counseling centers should be established at grass root level to educate youths in guidance of senior citizens by all ways and means.

She emphasized that government, NGOs and private sector need to join hands to address such issues enhancing the private-public partnership and not to publish vulgar and quacks advertisements in newspapers.

Project Director, Pakistan Voluntary Health and Nutrition Association (PAVHNA), Fauzia Matloob demanded separate ministry for youths.

She proposed some amendments in proposed National Youth Policy on behalf of youths. Work should be done against child labor, sexual abuse and gender imbalance.“ More libraries and playgrounds must be provided for health activities as currently they are lacking. Scholarship should be publicized widely, two or more than two youth conventions must be organized in a year all over the country and reproductive health issues should be part of syllabus,” she said.

President, Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) Ms. Nuzhat William said youths must be partners to resolve problems of world. She said reproductive knowledge is right of every woman and youths should be recognized actors of today. “Media should make youth to develop a literate society as it has to play very vital role,” she added.

Director PPF, Ms. Samina Ishaque, in her welcome address said in future, interdependence of younger and older people will increase and youth development is a prerequisite to meeting growing care-demands of older people and a condition for the development of society as a whole.

List of Speakers
Mr. Qamar Mansoor
Sindh Minister
Sports & Youth Affairs
Ms. Fauzia Matloob
Project Director
Pakistan Voluntary Health and Nutrition Association (PAVHNA)
Ms. Sheher Bano
Freelance Journalist
Ms. Nuzhat William
Young Women Christian Association (YWCA)
Ms. Samina Ishaque