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Save our Children -letter


In the modern age, on one hand the information technology especially internet, mobile phone and satellite channels on television screen have benefited man on multi aspects of life. The life of men has been made very easy by these devices. In a while one can make his/her appearance in any part of the globe while at the same time sitting in his/her offices or sitting in one’s bed room. On a single click of internet one can get huge information during internet browsing which, in other words termed as the information explosion. News of every moment is at the doorstep of each and everyone. According to many studies about 60 million of Pakistan has cell phone in their hand with may SIM services in their pockets. More than this number of population watches satellite channels in their homes.

On the other hand, unnecessary and over access to the information technology is going to be a threat for the society particularly, the young generation. In our country no media education is available to any person and no one is aware of the ethics of using these facilities to benefit one. Neither people are aware of the netiquettes. The result is that people of every age use these facilities without knowing their pros and cons. Parents and teachers have given free hand to their children and students.

It has been found that excessive and unnecessary use of electronic information technology is harmful for physical, emotional and psychological development of a person. This piece of writing is aimed at identifying the issues related to the use of information technology and also presenting a picture of our society based on the real setting observations. It also highlights the hazards of these technologies.

In Chitral the rising of such technological uses is of very recent origin like other parts of the countries. Since 1990s no one even heard about the fast changing communication development. Only, state run television was seen in the only town of Chitral. With the advent of satellite channels people of all ages opted to install dish antennas in their roofs. With that came the CD and DVD player culture. Because of availability of hundreds of channels on a single TV screen the cultural values started changing. The bed rooms where people used to discuss their daily matters were replaced by the TV set. Remote controls were handed over to children of very young age and they were given free hand to watch each and every type of the program. They watched the programs of their own choice. Even pornographic films of Hollywood and other channels were watched by these very fragile minds and were being discussed in their friend circles. Cultural invasion by other countries badly affected the young minds. Media is being used as a most powerful medium of conquering others’ minds and it has also been proved as a tool to propagates once ideas and influence other using audio visual effects. The wife of former prime minister of our neighboring country once remarked that they had already conquered the ideological boundaries of their neighbors therefore there was no need to develop any other weapon of destruction.

Similarly, movies and dramas, filled with violence served as the best choice of youth. This resulted in the negative change in the emotional and psychological behaviors towards others in the immediate relationship, parents, sibling and even the people in the society. This trend ultimately resulted in the suicide attempts and murder. The rising trends in suicide cases and criminal activities of youth could also be attributed to this menace. Prolong exposure to these electronic device also affected the visual and mental health. It also badly affected the academic careers of many well talented and capable students.

It has often been seen in the net cafes and video centers of Chitral town that the majority of their customers are very young school children. In school and college timing hour the business owners see their business at their booms because of influx of school and college going students of age from 13 to 20. This age, according to the child psychologists is said to be most susceptible and vulnerable in terms of receiving every kind of good and bad habit. A child at this age is analogous to a hot iron which could be molded to any shape and structure. At this age the Children are more prone towards criminal activities and their egocentric psyche at this particular stage of their age make them more at risk. They are prone to commit crimes. Similarly, the children of this age range are in the developmental stage of their adulthood. Sexual characters are also in the development stage. Watching movies full of murders and pornographies negatively affect the very innocent mind of a child. In the same way video games have seen to be affecting the emotional state of a child. Children love to play with guns and pistol. During playing a game on the screen they are so much involved and occupied by the game that they forget everything around them. Playing such games ultimately results in the changing behavioral pattern. They also change their routine timing of breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It is often been in my own observations that even on the net students of very early age browse the most pornographic sites. In Chitral town and some other part of the district the children enter the cafes in pair or in group of three. After booking of a single cabin they watch such types of movies and enjoy the situation. In this way the whole school timing is spent on the rubbish activities which ultimately destroy the whole academic career at the end of the year. Some of the children have even been seen with a cigarette in their hand while enjoying the movies or games.

It can be justified, that in the name of freedom we have given our children an environment which is not fruitful for their future. They are riding in such a train which has no brakes and no other control system. The train is heading towards an unknown destination and everybody is happy in side the train without knowing the exact situation. One day this train would ultimately hit a disastrous and catastrophic rock or any other object and everything would be in a standstill. We must be very careful before this time came.

It is my humble suggestion to the teachers and parents to constantly watch their children with a vigilant eye. If a child is demanding more and more money it could be one sign that the child is involved in other harmful activities. Also we need to check the routine of our children. If there is any change that could be another sign of destruction that our child is going to meet.

My suggestion to the net café owner is that they must have an age limit to open the doors of net café for people. Underage people must be banned to enter the cafes and video centers. Law enforcement agencies such as police could also play their role. There must be a check on these net cafes. Regular checking and monitoring of these videos centers and cafes could minimize the issues to a great extent.

For the school and college teacher it is important that they constantly check the number of students after entering the classroom. Vigilant eyes must be kept on those students who often remain absent.

Let us promise to improve the situation before it is too late.

Z.A Zulfi,

Dokandeh, Booni,

03 June 10.


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