is not an issue in a country like Pakistan if a woman is educated twice, so what?
there are some groups in this country who in their own interests forget what they have
been telling the people for the past fifty years. For instance, if I am an industrialist
and I can get cheap raw material from India I will swallow my own ideology and carry out
Mr. Khorakiwala (India): On these NGOs for peace:
after the incident of the Babri Mosque we set up one such NGO in Bombay and the purpose
was to promote peace in the neighbourhoods. This NGO has been working for the last four
Could there be a data bank of NGOs so that work is not overlapped?
Could NGOs play a role in checking the way government funds are spent?
Sadiqa Salahuddin: Some efforts are being made in
the way of building a data bank of the NGOs, but I feel that overlapping of efforts is not
an issue in a country like Pakistan where the magnitude of misery is very big if a
woman is educated twice, so then what?
There are NGOs that are looking into the privatisation of the public facilities such as
water supply and they are taking various type of actions. As far as health and education
is concerned NGOs can only carry out experiments, document them and share them. But the
ultimate responsibility of providing health and education to all will have to be
shouldered by the government.
Q. A question for Dr. Khanna: looking into five
years from today do you think this work of yours [consumer groups movement] could gain
ground? Could you get the politicians to hear to you?
Mr. Khatib Ahmed
Dr. Khanna: I was a political activist
once and when I quitted that I was committed to one objective: you can bring change from
outside the political parties. And when I look at the consumer movements in the other
countries I am convinced that we, in India, can address the issues and bring change in the
domains that have been addressed by the political leaders in the past.
But at the same time we see this movement as an attempt to grab social space and a
bargaining position to influence the agendas of all political parties irrespective
to their colours and stands. So, five years from now (I have a feeling) that we will be
having a afar more sophisticated dialogue with the political parties.
Q: When Pakistan came into being or even
before there was a lot of voluntarism, which we called social work and not NGO. My
question is: how much voluntarism do you still expect from the citizens, or do you have to
make your work entirely professional and career oriented?
Begum Mumtaz Rashidi
Dr. Khanna: My group was started by
volunteers but we have learnt that while volunteers can start a programme it can only be
sustained through professionals: a few full-time workers can bring out a lot more output
than a lot of people working on a programme as volunteers. Still, the guiding role has to
be played by the volunteers who have a vision and commitment.
Q: There is so much disparity between the rich and
the poor in India and Pakistan. Yet the governments of the two countries have been blaming
each other for everything, and doing little to eradicate poverty. As the saying goes: Kashmir
nay humein aur hum nay Kashmir ko mil ker tabah ker diya
Dr. Khanna: I feel the same way but I didnt
know we are so similar.