Often, even at upscale restaurants locally, one sees a bedraggled little servant girl standing holding a chubby infant as the family feasts. Itâ€™s disconcerting to say the least. I canâ€™t even imagine what the young girl must be feeling as the aroma of the tempting food wafts around her but sheâ€™s not offered a morsel. Her employers donâ€™t seem cruel, more prosaic and matter of fact. Sheâ€™s paid to work and gets fed at home, they reason to themselves. I, like most citizens, mind my own business, at the most leveling an offended look at the housewife responsible for making me uncomfortable and spoiling my meal, but she remains confidently oblivious to her crime. Tayyaba, the 10 year old maid, who was recently recovered after being routinely severely tortured by a judgeâ€™s wife in Islamabad, a story highlighted by the media at the moment, may be an extreme case of abuse of a child worker, but itâ€™s only one of countless undocumented such stories that go unreported and unpunished. With so many beggar children on the streets put to work by their own parents, and more and more unwanted births, what does the future hold for these children apart from a life of crime, drug addiction and destitution? Itâ€™s been reported that Pakistan is the fastest growing Muslim economy this year, but before the Government pats itself on the back, obviously this and other such pressing issues need to be addressed with a serious and determined effort.
The reality is too stark. While each of us does our bit, letâ€™s take a breather and relax with this issue. Itâ€™s an especially fun one, full of exclusive coverage of countrywide winter festivities. Internationally, we have the Standout looks from the glamorous Golden Globes with its glitzy gowned actresses and tuxedoed leading men. The yearlong romance of Zayn Malik, the Pakistani descent Bradford born crooner, and Palestinian/Dutch descent, American born model, Gigi Hadid makes for a light read. Shamsha Hashwani shares what she thinks are the coming trends for wedding wear. For streetwear, update your denim jacket or try bold stripes for spring. But first slough away dull winter skin using our tried and tested home remedies.
Meanwhile, if you see abuse especially of an under aged domestic servant, notify the Child Welfare and Protection Bureau at 1121. This way we make a real impact, much more useful than merely cringing. Until next time…
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