Schoolchildren used for cleaning venue of Qaqlasht festival

qaq2 Deputy Commissioner Chitral Osama Ahmad Waraich in a twitter message said a cleanliness campaign was carried out at the venue of the festival with the help of students. Pictures of the activity released by the DC showed students in uniform, including girls, making queues for picking the dirt from the vast ground and later boys posing in front of bags of trash for a phograph. It may be mentioned here that teams from different parts of the province have been invited to the four-day event for the first time this year. But it is not clear who would be cleaning the leftovers at the end of the festival. qaqThe main objective of the festival being celebrated for many years has been to revive and promote Chitral’s indigenous games and sports. Thousands of people from across the valley attend the event every year. For the first time, the KP government provided funds to the district administration for the festival this year on the reccommendation of MPA Fouzia Bibi and Syed Sardar Hussain.]]>

36 Replies to “Schoolchildren used for cleaning venue of Qaqlasht festival”

  1. All supporting and opposing the district admin are right in their way. But the actual thing is the intention. Using students in cleanliness drive is not wrong. but what was the intention of the district admin? was it to create civic sense among the kids or to clean the area using the kids? in my humble opinion here in this particular case it seems the local admin wanted to clean the venue of the annual festival as it was a few days away and they used the schools kids as a quick fix. so the intention was throwing away the dirt not instilling civic sense among the children.

  2. What is wrong in this situation is that the kids have been sent to Qaqlasht without prior information to the parrents and also non providing any type of refreshment or food.In my opinion the responsibility is rest upon the Schools administrations.

  3. Festivals are part of our culture and we are cultured people. We do have rights and responsibilities. But it is not our right to spray empty bottles, wrappers, and plastic bags and do pee at will in this maiden place making it hazardous for other creatures as they are also part of our ecosystem and play their role. The visitors of Kaghlasht should show responsibility and collect their left overs themselves and dispose them off in a suitable place and manner. School kids are part of our society, and admin should not take their innocence for granted, and under school supervision they should be part of any cleanliness initiative. It is illegal to send young kids to such an unsafe spot without parents permission, because kids are always vulnerable to be abused, mistreated and misused. Here head of schools are also equally responsible for this messy situation.
    Kaghlasht festivals give birth to rumors. Its social, economical, environmental and moral implications are negative. Kaghlasht should be left for nature and used for grazing purpose. Kaghlasht has very few day to live, and feds very quickly.
    Some of my friends have raised that Rehmat Ali has been taking kids to clean Kaghlasht in the past, so what is the issue if admn has taken the same initiative. Rehmat Ali had always taken theiresponsibility to take care of the kids. He is not only taking them to Kaghlasht but also promotes awareness among masses.

  4. This is first time we see that DC chitral and his Team closely involved from the “start to the end”. It shows the interest and devotion of District Commissioner Chitral .i personally grateful to him for his interest, loyalty and devotion with chitral district. In continuation of this discussion i would like to mention that i personally witness of past practices of cleaning Qaqlasht venue. The same practice and activity conducted by Local school children’s every year. This time when District Administration participated in cleaning with co-ordination of School children s, we all started criticism. I humbly request to all viewers and writers not to overstate and stop critical comments on DC and local administration. We each and every one is equally responsible to keep our environment neat and clean. No one is here to accept his role and nor ready to do that. If we (each and every one) will play our roles, there is no need of such activity to involve school children’s to clean such festival venues.
    Thank you

  5. Government should take action against the DC and against the management who used children for cleaning the ground.

  6. Such activities for student enhances the awarness in any educated surrounding.such initiatives should be taken to promote cleaniness and to enhance indiviual responsibility for this what we made it issue.
    We have to addmit,it is a wise step but in wrong time.during such activities the participating students must be provided with water ,food,encouragement,support,appriciation,awarness,proper precuations ,nd so might be acceptable to all but if it has been done forcefully then we all discourage this activity.being student several times we have participated in cleanliness drives with rehmat jaffar dost through out the district ,andd we feel satisfaction with the way it has provided proper awarness to people.
    So as a student I appriciate this activity if it has not exceeded the limit,more ever we do argee with the words of meki aseer,mr zulfiqar …..

  7. yes,very true,we don’t differentiate between responsibility and being responsible, we are putting our duties onto to the shoulders of school kids.And those people who are encouraging these types of acts and actions should check their judgment capabilities.

  8. I do not see anything bad in involving the students in the cleanliness of the area, i am sure this was to create awareness among the students otherwise one of our friends Rehmat Ali Jafferdost every year takes the students to different areas for cleanliness drive.
    Why to question the intention of the government servant, which inappropriate.

  9. Deputy Commissioner Osama has to be appreciated for being a financially clean person, a trait rare amongst deputy commissioners in Chitral. However, the young bureaucrat has visible shortcoming in that he is a Don Quixote in his own way. With ample of Sancho Panzas at his side, he keeps charging at imaginary enemies left right and center. He is bold because he is financially clean, no doubt, but then there is a thin line between being bold and being stupid.

  10. This is a complete nonsense on part of local administration as well as schools. We do not send our kids to collect dirt for local administration. Local administration should arrange alternative and schools and other environmentalists must educate masses rather exploit our innocent kids. My son was sent to Qaqlasht without my consent, and on his return he was completely aggressive. He is only 10, was kept there till 4pm without food and water. He told me crying that one of TMA personnel mistreated him once he asked for water. We did not know where he had gone. Heads of schools and principals should be professionals. They must seek parents permission before sending school kids to such unsafe environment. Any bad can happen to young kids, once bad happened, these principals or headmasters/tress are not going to help it out. Young kids are always vulnerable in such conditions. Who is going to bring that one day back to our kids’ lives. Principals to answer it. Never do this nonsense again. Local admin must utilise budget rather keeping it into its pocket.
    Secondly, local admin must also make it sure that in the name of preserving culture, our culture is abused in Qaqlasht. Jashn-e- Qaqlasht has more negative implications rather positive ones.

    1. I am sure after going through the message by a mother (Ms Fatma) the DC must have realised his admin’s decision. In a sense he forced the poor mothers to cry in order to organize the festival.

  11. DCO is very much right. i just wonder what is so wrong when kids from some nearby schools happily took part in a very positive activity. especially alarming is the fact when this criticism comes from people like our very respected teacher, Mr. Sher Wali Khan sahib. dear sir, you may well remember the practice when kids used to get days off from schools and would go to a teacher’s house to cut his wheat crop or some other task. now that was something which can be termed a child labor. this particular activity at Qaqlasht, in addition to the one time clearing of the litter, would instill in them the very much important habit of not littering around which we the elders have not yet learned.
    And then comes the twitter guy, who has rightly advised DC sahib to behave like a public servant. good, very good. but someone just tell this guy not to litter around with his personal whims, and it comes may be from the fact that he has not taken part in any positive activity like the one in the case. we really do not want our next generation to behave in your melancholic way, we want them to be positive, to live their life.

  12. Some of you guys are trying to justify the use of kids in garbage collections only to please the district admin especially the DC and AC Mastuj. ok that is your right but tell us have schoolchildren been ever used in cleaning dirt from an stadium or playground in Peshawar, Mardan or even in the Chitral town? come on men, this is total child labor and should be condemned in strongest possible terms.

  13. The best way to avoid this garbage would be implement strict environmental laws and impose fines on those who spread dirt in the lush green plateau. Secondly it would have been great if elders were invited though mosques and jamat khanas as volunteers for cleaning the maidan. Forced volunteerism and using kids to dispose of dirt is not at all acceptable in a democratic society. The DC is doing his best to increase his popularity among the masses.
    Thank you for promoting local culture and tourism , but dont implement colonial policies on the local people. Neither did our great political agents Cob and Garden who are still remembered and loved used such tactics nor did the autocratic state ever imposed state service on kids.

  14. I would like to thank the DC for his effort of organize the event and more importantly for creating a culture to respond to and comment on a article to clarify his position. We forget very quickly, we have seen officers who were not accessible to the masses and we are lucky to get an upright officer who has the courage to talk to people on different issues. Some of the so called scholars who have responded above need to find a work to do rather then criticizing every thing of social media.

  15. I would like to appreciate the efforts of DC Chitral especially engaging the young kids in order to produce civic sense in them.By the way the adults have no sense whatsoever as far as the cleanliness of the ambient is concerned which is evident from the heap of garbage cleansed and picked by the young ones.Engaging young ones in such activities is something fruitful and healthy.We believe that cleanliness is half faith but practically it is almost non existent.It is really surprising that some of the commentators have left no stone unturned to make it controversial just for nothing.My humble request to them is Please don’t be part of the problem aleast if you are unable to be part of a solution.

  16. Good effort DC SB!
    Children must learn to cleanse their surroundings! After all they are to grow up to replace the old dirt stuffed people! They will develop a sense of least upon their visit during the festival they will not throw out garbage so openly …some ray of realization and practical use of training will be there.

  17. The effort of DC chitral to start jeshn e qaqlast is a great achievement .DC chitral is professional,devoted and wants to promote our culture.this effort can attract more tourist , outsider guests and also KP govt can contribute in future.the matter of involving students in cleaning venue of jeshn e qaqlast by dc chitral should be applauded.we know students are for is not mere theory.involving children in cleaning is a practical demonstration of theortical saying about cleanliness.childrens are our future if the themselves start such type of activity,it is great news,that they are not only i myself was present with DC,MPA and other officers at qaqlasht,i picked two plastics bottles and threw away i didn,t feel any shame because we have to keep our home ground clean.we have to cooperate with DC chitral with local support,{cleanliness is half of faith} needs constructive mind.

  18. Greart! It is time to get pleasure from nature because nature shows its full beauty in spring season. At leat people from provence will get joy of the festival. Thanks distric govt for good contribution.

  19. The reaction shown by some prominent and upright people such as Mr Sher Wali Khan Aseer through their comments endorsed whatever I posted on twitter against the use of children in cleaning garbage from Qaqlasht by the DC Chitral.
    I would like to tell the deputy commissioner not to give me lecture on ‘norms and decency’ rather behave like a public servant. I would also like to make it clear that as a journalist I have every right to criticize whether a patwari or a deputy commissioner if they are doing something wrong. And you must admit, Mr Deputy Commissioner, in this particular incident you and your team were absolutely wrong and the justification you have given is nothing but a joke of the day.
    Zulfiqar Ahmad

  20. Hello everyone, this is the Deputy Commissioner and I must say I am a little disappointed with the way the cleanliness activity has been perceived by some. I would like to clear a few misconceptions.
    1. The provincial government is not funding the festival. The funds are being provided by the District Administration and TMA Booni. The District Administration had to organize the festival because of a dispute between two parties, both claiming to be the original organizers. We are organizing it because we want to promote local culture, sports, music and most of all Tourism in the area.
    2. The second picture in the article above shows Assistant Commissioner Mastuj Hameedullah Khattak. The campaign involved students yes, but also staff of TMA and Levies. TMA machinery had to make 50 trips to clear the garbage, the picture only shows a handful of bags so please make an educated decision yourself.
    3. No students or staff picked dirt. The only things they picked were shopping bags, bottles, wrappers and other things which were thrown there by visitors of Qaqlasht including you and me.
    4. The students showed everyone that there were two options, first one was to leave everything as it was and second was to take corrective action and rectify the situation. Me and the students are on the same page on this as I too, have always followed the second option in everything I have done throughout my career.
    5. I found a comment on Twitter particularly offensive in which the commentator suggested that this cleanliness campaign was carried out to ‘please my political masters’. I expect the commentator to follow norms of decency and would personally wish for a time to come in this country when ‘political masters’ get pleased by sincere actions such as picking wrappers and plastic bottles.
    I also hope that people don’t try to create a controversy in everything and see the spirit in which things are being done.
    Lastly, I would like to invite everyone to attend the festival from 21st to 24th April and hope everyone has a good time there.
    Best Regards,
    Osama Ahmad Warraich
    Deputy Commissioner Chitral.

  21. everything is going reverse here,our administration should do it by otherway,it’s no need to destroy the precious times of schoolgoing children.what you did Mr,deputy commissioner?

  22. DCO using Kids to clean qaqlasht is nothing but, shameful.Could somebody remind him just in case he is forgetting that it is a funded festival and that money should be used to clean the area

  23. Dear Asad Khan! Physical labour of any kind is not allowed to minors. What you say is still exercised in the Universities and colleges and some of high schools where physically matured boys and girls have to perform ‘Social Work” for certain hours, and that had been a compulsory component of their curricula, in the past. At present I have no knowledge of such co-curricular activity. So far creation of awareness about civic sense among the kids is concerned, first the elders, the management committee, the sportsmen and grown up citizen should develop civic sense while using public places,and arrange disposing of their trash, at the end of the tournaments/jeshns etc, the kids have the instinct to imitate their elders.

    1. Dear Sir,
      All over the world children are engaged in such activities to enhance their civic sense and it is quote normal. In Lahore many prestigious schools take out their students to different parks for cleaning it up and it is pretty normal. The kids like it as a fun day and also develop sense. Their is nothing shameful in it and it is also not a labor.

  24. There is nothing wrong with engaging children in keeping a clean environment. however, children shouldn’t be cleaning after a district event. that’s not in their capacity. that’s up to the district admin and ADULTS. if you really want to give children a lesson, at the most they should be responsible for keeping their school yard tidy. That is they do in first world counties.

  25. My Shabash to all inhabitants of Booni and surrounding areas,special Shabash to Sardar Hussain SHAH to give free hands to teachers and returned Sha-Mehatar of Chitral to abuse their kids. Nothing like that happens in civilized world.There is no concept of forced volunteerism exist in any corner of the world. Hardly the young girls of Booni have come out of sheep grazing responsibility, the parents probably want to remind them their recent past. Shame on people of Booni in general and specifically on Sardar Hussain and elders of the area.

  26. Engaging young students in social activities such as cleanliness and other important social campaigns are basically used as tool and opportunities to develop civic sense among young learners. All over the world, prestigious schools, colleges and universities give such opportunities to their young learners in order to develop civic sense among them. I really appreciate teachers and school administration who gave such opportunity to their students to keep public place neat and clean; such activities not only sensitize young kids towards social issues but also develop among them a sense of volunteerism which is the utmost need of today. Hats off DC Chitral and school kids you have done fantastic job.

  27. Action should be taken against heads of schools who allowed the local admin to use the children for disposal of garbage. God forbid God forbid, if something happened in shape of any mishap to any of the students, who would be responsible??? It is illegal, immoral and unethical that parents sent their children to school in the morning but they came back after picking garbage in the far-off mountain in the evening. One should ask the district admin officers if they would allow their own children to be used in such a way in their schools?? The answer would be a big NO. so why you guys are playing with the rights of the common people?? why?? Can the education department take action and can its monitoring unit dare to ask the DC for this blatant violation of students right??
    Nadir Khan

  28. ٰIt is very shameful activity that innocent school children cleansing the dirt left over by their ‘irresponsible’ elders.This dirty job should have been the duty of those who make the pure natural environment filthy in the name of ‘jeshn’. The Education Department must explain this obnoxious irregularity.

  29. Everyone should participate in such cleaness campaign, using only student the purpose does not sent good message. The DC Chitral could have included personnel from other departments such as district admn, border police, chitral police, municipal administration in the noble cause.

  30. The innocent students are deserved to get reward in a shape of cash because the money has already been given by the provincial Govt. to the local Govt for every kind of need in festival..This is a rule in everywhere if such kind work is done by students even they are not responsible for such kind of activity,they need to be paid in response of their services in short time.Otherwise it is not sincere step.

  31. Once upon a time teachers used to exploit their students by using them in construction of their houses and harvesting in their agricultural field. Now, a young officer of Administrative Service of Pakistan Osama Waraich’s administration has repeated the same.

  32. Using school kids, including little girls, in school uniform in cleaning the ground leaves a very bad impression. Whoever has given the idea to take the kids out of their schools and drive them to the venue of the tournament to clean it has set a very bad example and done a very disservice to the cause of education. People of Chitral value education very highly and they would be perturbed that the district admin headed by the young DC has taken such a bad decision. Instead of providing them books, the organizers have made the little students stand in front of the bags of dirt and photographed them for publicity.
    Secondly, I am doubtful if the local administration took permission or consent of the parents before using their little children in cleaning the dirt from the huge ground.
    The district administration as well as the education department owe an apology to the people of Chitral.–Editor

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