Young achievers

Courtesy:  Editorial

AWAY from the negative publicity this country often receives is the heartening news that nine Pakistanis are on the annual ‘30 Under 30’ Forbes Asia list that showcases the achievements of young people who have come up with ground-breaking answers to global challenges. Be it poverty, lack of access to education and healthcare, improving women’s rights, or environmental change, Asia’s millennials are finding innovative and sustainable solutions. Spanning a region that contains 60pc of the world’s population, the Asia list, published on Tuesday, features 300 individuals from 24 countries. With 30 honorees in each of the 10 categories — the arts, technology, social entrepreneurship, healthcare, science, media, and more — these innovators are tackling issues of concern to their generation.
One of them, Hamza Farrukh, the founder of The Solar Water Project, had a mission to bring clean drinking water to rural Pakistan; he has set up two solar-powered wells for 1,500 residents of a village. Replicating this project when clean water in this country is a scare commodity would help tackle disease, and contribute to reducing maternal and child mortality.
Such international recognition of our youth demonstrates the talent and social conscience of young Pakistanis. In the 24-hour news cycle about the sorry state of governance and human development, these achievers give hope for a more progressive future. As such, investing in the future of our youth — which has sometimes been referred to as a ‘ticking time bomb’ — is the only way forward. If Asad Raza and Abrahim Shah, both 24, have worked out ways to remove critical health service deficiencies, their model needs to be studied for its successful use of technology. Their healthcare startup provides quality low-cost, wearable and implantable medical devices for the developing world including prosthetic services in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Syria. And while acknowledging all such youth visionaries, including others involved in grass-roots movements for change, our governments must remove the social and educational impediments that stand in their way.

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