An Indian delegation of five students was pleasantly surprised as they attended the silver jubilee celebrations of Javed Jabbar's NGO Baanhn Beli, which works for the development of Tharparkar.
The students met empowered women from seemingly less developed areas of Sindh, who made it in life after much struggle. "There was a woman who told me that she could not even talk confidently before Baanhn Beli started its literacy programme, but now she has studied in college and is a teacher at a school," says Tanima Narang, an eleventh-grade student from Delhi.
The delegation was impressed and thought the individual tales were "inspiring". "Here we saw another picture of Pakistan. This is a country which suffers from extreme poverty, but still has the will to fight back. Before this, we mostly interacted with the elite," says Karan Raghav, a university student studying finance. "It takes years to carry on development work in a region and then finally you see the results," says Bhavya Mahajan, who is an active social worker back in India.
A peep into the civil society here brought forward the similarities of issues that plague both countries. "In India, we have similar villages which still live like a society that existed 40 years ago," says another student.
"Illiteracy is India's problem as well. In fact, all developing countries more or less face similar issues," says Bhavya Mahajan.
Sachi Bhuttani, a school student from Delhi, called the trip "eye-opening". "You see all this in India too, but there are kind people on both sides who help the poor and that is what matters."
The students, who landed at Karachi airport on Monday along with a team leader, are visiting Pakistan on a 10-day trip as part of an exchange programme.
The tour is part of an ongoing initiative taken by the Rotary Club and Aman ki Asha, which is a collaboration between the Jang Group and Times of India, to improve relationships between India and Pakistan by helping boost people-to-people contact between the two South Asian neighbours.
Friday, December 23, 2011
"My wife made me come because she hadn't been here before. I'd been putting .....more
concept, something that will surely promote better understanding between the neighbours
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The News on Sunday Special Report: India Pakistan prisoners more editions
We probably didn't need to do this Special Report. Newspaper stories don't matter when it comes to Indians in Pakistani jails and vice versa. In fact, 'vice versa' sums it up. We do to them what they do to us.
Except when the two countries decide to begin talking, yet again! This time a little before the foreign secretary level talks, some Pakistani prisoners were released by India (and vice versa must have happened) and some more were release....read more
For the past 2 years the Jang Group and Geo have been working on a project of great national interest; one that we hope will help usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the country and indeed, in the region. And one that hopefully all Pakistanis can be proud of. more
The Jang Group has entered into an agreement with the Times of India Group, the largest media group of India, to campaign for peace betw