KARACHI - Provincial Ombudsman Sindh Asad Ashraf Malik has sought the help of media for the early implementation of his decisions against the maladministration in government departments. He said that most of the government departments resisted and lingered on the implementation of Ombudsman’s verdict. Unless they had a fear of being exposed in the media they would not implement Ombudsman’s decision, he noted.
Speaking at an interaction with editors of newspapers and tv channels at a local hotel Tuesday, he also urged the media to identify and bring the public grievances to the notice of the Ombudsman against government departments. He said British Ombudsman in London had informed him during a meeting that his office utilized the influence of media for implementing his decisions.
Malik said that the implementation of Ombudsman’s decisions could be expedited if media extended this kind of support here. “We also seek the support of media for creating awareness about the functioning of Ombudsman office so that more and more aggrieved people can get the benefit of “free of cost” and “fast solution to their grievances”. He informed the editors that Ombudsman Sindh had also submitted a concept paper to the Sindh government for acquiring “stay powers” through legislation to immediately provide relief to common people.
Similarly, Ombudsman office also wants to have “punitive” action powers to punish the government officers against the complaints of maladministration.
The Ombudsman pointed out that his office was also helping women against accesses in the government offices. “At the same time, we are taking action against the child abuse especially in schools and juvenile prisons with the help of Children Complaint Cell established with the financial support of UNICEF”.
Malik said that 14 regional offices of Ombudsman were working in 14 districts while more offices would be opened at taluka level in the entire province. Besides, we tried to reach people in remote areas through mobile vans, he added. He said that work load had been enhanced and volume of complaints multiplied by 3 to 4 times since he had taken over this office. Earlier, in his welcome address media advisor Ombudsman Tariq Imam urged the media to create awareness about the functioning of Ombudsman’s office among general public. He said that there was convergence of interest for both Ombudsman and the media to identify and rectify maladministration in government departments.
Media can play role in child labour reduction
Government officials, policy makers, educationists and NGOs on Tuesday congregated at a hotel to discuss the issue of child labour and find the means to alleviate the problems and provide the children a chance to a safer, higher quality of life. The Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) held the event ‘Treasuring Childhood’: dialogue on addressing child labour in Pakistan under its continuing Child Labour Education Program (CLEP) aimed to work towards the self development of the working children. More than 150 participants, including employers, SEF partner NGOs, representatives of NGOs working for child labour, and Executive Committee members, discussed issues faced by the working children in the manufacturing, construction, wholesale and retail trade which includes harsh and hazardous work environments, physical abuse, poor health and nutrition and inaccessibility to educational facilities. Prof. Anita Ghulam Ali, Managing Director SEF, said that millions of children in Pakistan were deprived of the opportunity to engage in educational and recreational activities.