Our media, both print and electronic, is saturated with noise and fury about politics, violence and corruption scandals. Seldom do they focus on social issues, especially education and health. There may occasionally be an exception or two, but these subjects hit the headlines only when there is a tragic happening like girls fainting in a school or patients dying because of administering of lethal spurious medicines they have been administered.
Also, while there is a lot of publicity about higher education now and then and news about the distribution of laptops, there is hardly any mention of the tens of millions of illiterates in the country or the state of school education.
Against this context, it is a matter of considerable satisfaction that a non-government organization has been undertaking surveys of school education in Pakistan and publishes a report on “access to” and “learning outcomes” in both public and private schools, as also statistics about the out-of-school boys and girls.
The Annual Status of (school) Education Report (ASER) released the other day, this year too, reveals a dismal picture. Just read some of the highlights of the report.
Heavy rain and snowfall is observed all over the country from 2 Feb to 5 Feb. Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and Punjab districts or declared heavy rain and snow. Specially, Galiat side, Northern areas, Swat, Shangla, and Overall upper Malakand Agency have been observed heavy snowfall and havoc’s of rain. The heavy snowfall and rain shoddily affect the houses and people in many areas in the country, collateral damages were reported. As the rain and snowfall break the records of last decades only in Swat (Malamjaba reported 10 feet snowfall. Kalam and other adjacent areas districts Dir (upper, lowari top) Shangla (Shangla top Alpurai Tehsil, Yekh Tangai, Puran side are closed from last 4-6 days, people are very much suffering.
During our general information provided by some local people and information collected from different departments almost 50% area and people of Shangla district is affected in some way or other. Means of communication, like inaccessibility to market, hospital, telephone, electricity are still not open and accessible to people. The Union Council which are reported heavy snowfall and reported damages, (causalities, land loss, livelihood loss, damages of houses due to rain, land sliding, snow avalanches etc) are as (Alpuri, Lilowni, Malak Khel, Pirabad, Dehrai, Kuz Kana, Shahpur, Damorai & Pirkhana). The detailed assessment is started in some areas where people have access, the detailed will come sooner and may share for urgent response and financial assistance from UN, International and National humanitarian organization.
Sustainable Development Society (SDS) is a non for profit non-government organization.
Sustainable Development Society
SDS has previously worked under the name of Shangla Development Society since 1997. Starting its work in 1997 at District Shangla, a remote, under developed and poverty stricken district in Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa province, the organization served the local communities on voluntary basis without getting any funds from any donor or charities till 2001. In 2001, the SDS was contacted by some local funding organization for political participant of women as well as awareness raising regarding adult franchise. Likewise SDS continue small funding project for health and hygiene and natural disasters. After the devastating earth quack in 2005 SDS was contacted and funded by some major international donors including Oxfam International, World Food Program, UNICEF and Greek Red Cross etc. for relief and rehabilitation of the people at district Shangla and district Kohistan. Apart from that SDS continue to get funding in other sectors like alternate energy, livelihood, disaster risk reduction, infrastructure, irrigation, health, education, water and sanitation and expended its outreach to district Swat, Swabi, Mardan, Manshera, Abottabad and Kohistan. After the rise of militancy and military operation in 2007 SDS entered into a new but dangerous phase of its activities. Most of the non-profit organization ceased their activities but SDS continued to operate and serve the people. Many of its staff members were tortured and threaten to stop their work and activities. Even SDS was forced to relocate its offices but it continued to help the people through funding from different donors.
After widening its scope of work and outreach beyond district Shangla, Shangla Development Society was renamed as Sustainable Development Society in 2008.
More Detail …………….