Thursday, October 31, 2019

Iqbal Saleh Muhammad emphasizes on according highest respect to teachers

Pakistan News & Features Services

“Teachers are the most respectable and honourable persons in a society who are worthy of the highest esteem. They must be accorded the admiration they so richly deserve.” 

These observations were made by Iqbal Saleh Muhammad, Managing Director, Paramount Books, during his address in the 35th Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT) International Conference 2019, hosted recently by Iqra University in Karachi. 

He reminded the august gathering of teachers, trainers, experts, educationists, intellectuals and scholars about the incident in a courtroom of Italy where, upon learning that Pakistan’s great writer Ashfaq Ahmad happened to be a teacher, was given a standing ovation by the honourable judge as well as everyone present there on the occasion. 

The soft-spoken Iqbal Saleh Muhammad, who himself has been rendering momentous services to the country by promoting the literary craftsmen, emphasized on treating the teachers with utmost care and they be granted total reverence at all times.

“It’s the responsibility of our society to respect the teachers if we desire to progress. Otherwise it won’t be possible to move forward. We must keep in mind that we have to give them the highest respect in order to make advancement,” he added. 

The Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT), founded in 1984, is a registered, non-political, non-government (NGO), voluntary body of English Language teachers from schools, colleges and universities. 

Dedicated to improving the standard of English teaching and learning in Pakistan, the SPELT functions on the principle of team work and self-help to enable maximum exploitation of the limited resources available in the country.

As a body it attempts to be well informed about recent developments in teaching techniques, which invariably need to be modified in order to suit the needs and limitations of the Pakistani situation. It is affiliated with a number of international organizations like TESOL (USA), IATEFL (UK), RELC (Singapore), TESOL (Greece).

Its objectives include providing a professional forum for English language teachers in Pakistan besides serving as a centre for the dissemination of current ideas and developments in ELT.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Aziz Memon becomes first-ever Rotary Foundation trustee from Pakistan

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Aziz Memon, an acclaimed entrepreneur and philanthropist, has become the first-ever trustee of the Rotary Foundation from Pakistan in more than 100-year old history of the global organization.

The Rotary Board of Directors selected him to this coveted position, in their meeting held on October 23, 2019, for a period of four years. His term will commence on July 1, 2020. 

The Rotary Foundation, headquartered in Illinois, USA, is organized as a public charity operated exclusively for charitable purposes and governed by a Board of Trustees. 

The operations of Rotary International, a member organization, are overseen by its Board of Directors. 

Rotary International had come to this part of the world in 1927 when the first club was chartered in Lahore. It has taken 92 years for a Pakistani to acquire a position on the Rotary Board of Trustees and this achievement of Aziz Memon has been widely applauded.

Having served the Rotary cause with exemplary selflessness and intense compassion, he has been in the forefront in the mission to eradicate polio from Pakistan as Rotary’s International PolioPlus Committee member and Chair of National PolioPlus Committee. 

Aziz Memon is hailed for being largely instrumental in restricting the transmission of polio virus through myriad interventions; which also include the provision safe drinking water to the residents of low-lying areas in the form of solar water filtration and reverse osmosis plants.  
He has been admired for his efforts to galvanize meaningful public opinion through eliciting views of well-respected national and international personalities. 

He undertakes such a service under the auspices of a revered social forum and serves as the President of English Speaking Union of Pakistan (ESUP). 

This social entity runs a global network and is headed by the Princess Anne of the UK. The ESUP provides educational and research facilities to students from Pakistan and offers them regular scholarships to study in prestigious academic institutions of the world. 

As an entrepreneur, Aziz Memon has been a success story in the textile industry and he has worked tirelessly for the cause of trade and commerce. His efforts have greatly helped in earning precious foreign exchange for the country. 

He also heads the United Memon Jamat, a conglomerate of various bodies catering to the needs of the large Memon community residing in Pakistan.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Foreword to Dr Nasim Fatima: Bio-Bibliographical Study

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Following is the text of the foreword, penned by Syed Khalid Mahmood, to the recently published book ‘Dr Nasim Fatima: Bio-Bibliographical Study’ highlighting the accomplishments of the prolific library scientist:

“No hard-and-fast rules about forewords, allowing room to be creative and even have some fun, makes the task of penning my maiden foreword simpler than it could have been otherwise for a firm believer and practitioner of out-of-box thinking! 

Indeed it’s a great honour to be asked to write the foreword to such a significant book, bringing to light the accomplishments of Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, the famed library scientist, teacher, scholar, researcher, writer, author, editor and mentor, yet one of the unsung heroes. 

Her multi-faceted personality has been talked about with great awe over the years but she hasn’t been granted the kind of recognition she so richly deserved. On the contrary, she has had to endure some terrifying moments in her long professional career. In fact, she still has to combat some unforeseen challenges from within which don’t make her tasks simpler.

No praise could be too high for her for having overcome the obstacles with the iron will and the never-say-die approach. 

She has fought her way to the top and she’s going to be remembered for her overwhelming contributions for the cause of librarianship in particular and education in general. 

Obviously this book is not going to inform the readers about the trials and tabulations which she had faced, and continues to tackle in achieving the various elusive landmarks. 

Since she seems to have pursued the policy of just letting her work do the talking, without engaging into controversies or making even a noise at the injustices meted out to her from time to time, I am not sure if she will ever take the time out to narrate her tales of horrors and the dream of her autobiography may remain unfulfilled.

Isn’t it surprising, and hints of ungratefulness too, that those so many individuals having been, taught, trained, guided and mentored by her over the decades, didn’t reciprocate by furthering her mission? 

The community of the librarians in particular should wake up before it becomes too late. You people are extremely fortunate to be blessed with such an adorable personality like Prof Dr Nasim Fatima who is ever willing, and smiling, to lend a helping hand to everyone and anyone seeking assistance or guidance. 

 As the founder of the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, has publicly acknowledged repeatedly, the bureau and its flagship publication, the Pakistan Library & Information Science Journal (PLISJ), have survived for more than a half a century primarily due to her dedication and sacrifices.

I commend the joint efforts of the trio of Huma Mannan Butt, Abdul Qudoos and Saima Qadeer for having done this wonderful book which will surely be helpful in motivating the fraternity of the library professionals besides others. 

Now it’s your responsibility to play the due role in spreading the word and sharing it with the masses. You can pay your tribute to the living legend by promoting the book in your own circles. You will agree with me that this book merits a place in every library of the country.”

New book on Dr Nasim Fatima published

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Another book on Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, a former chairperson of the Library & Information Science department at the University of Karachi, has recently been published under the auspices of the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB). 

The 132-page book titled ‘Dr Nasim Fatima: Bio-Bibliographical Study’ has been edited by one of her students, Huma Mannan Butt, with Abdul Qudoos and Saima Qadeer being the compilers while the foreword has been penned by Syed Khalid Mahmood. 

“She was my teacher and chairperson at Department of Library and Information Science, University of Karachi. She is an asset to the Pakistan librarianship. Widely respected, she has had the quality of respecting each individual to have come across her,” Huma Mannan, now working as Chief Librarian at PN Central Library in Karachi, wrote in her introductory remarks in the book.

“Dr Nasim Fatima has had a tremendous academic record throughout her life. She loves to read and write. She teaches others how to become writer and researcher. She readily has plenty of topics in her mind for research whenever she is approached. She helps each researcher by all means. She has written in English and Urdu languages but feels happier in transferring technical and scientific information in Urdu for the benefit of the masses,” she added. 

Huma Mannan had earlier done a book on her illustrious teacher titled ‘Dr Nasim Fatima: Shakhsiat wa Kam’ which was a compilation of views and opinions about her works. 

Her contributions in literature have been highlighted by Zain Siddiqi in his book ‘Aik Rag-e-Deeger’ which is a tribute to her illustrious writings. 

It may be recalled that Dr Nasim Fatima has been writing on a regular basis in 1975 after her appointment as lecturer in the Library Science department although her first article ‘What you read about Quiad-e-Azam’ was published in Akhbar-e-Khawateen in 1968. She wrote her first book on Allama Iqbal’s chronology in 1976. 

Dr Nasim Fatima has been bringing out a literary magazine ‘Adab-o-Kutub Khana’ since 1979, from the platform of Bazm-e-Akram, and it has become an acclaimed annual publication, of which she is chief editor. 

An author of more than 50 books already, her compilation ‘Faiz Huay Hain Mar Kay Amar’ which was brought out by Jumbo Publishing, has been hailed as splendid and authentic bio-bibliography of the great poet.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

NICVD expands its services in Karachi

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) has made operational its 10th Chest Unit in Karachi which is housed at 11-G, Godhra Colony, New Karachi. 

The containerized unit was formally inaugurated by Sindh Information Minister, Saeed Ghani, at a ceremony held at the container site. 

It was the 14th setup in Sindh as part of the NICVD’s plan to provide immediate and initial relief to a patient suffering from heart problem before being shifted to the main hospital for treatment.

Besides the Minister, the Executive Director of the NICVD, Nadeem Qamar, Farooq Khatuda. President Godhra Muhammadi Anjuman, Siraj Chunkla, President Godhra Sheikh Muslim Anjuman 11-G, Sultan Kharadi, President 11-F, Sheheryar Bhagat, General Secretary, Dr Amin Kharadi, and other officials were also present on the occasion. 

Saeed Ghani, in his speech, remarked that the Sindh Government planned to set up more such centres not only in Karachi but also elsewhere in the province.

He informed that over 2.84 lac patients had benefitted from these units in Karachi alone so far and of them there were 6,800 such patients these units proved life savers. 

He pointed out that ever since 2011, when the Sindh Government took management of NICVD, and the manner in which the cardiac patients were being provided free of cost treatment, no other province could match this service. 

The Minister added that besides Karachi, the Sindh Government has set up heart hospitals in seven cities of Sindh and it was in the process of introducing more improvement in the health sector.

Referring to shortage of dog bite vaccine, he said that not only Sindh, but this vaccine is short in the entire country because of their non-availability from China and India. 

In Sindh, he stated, the government was meeting vaccine shortage by buying it from the market at premium rates. 

He said that the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital and other KMC or DMC hospitals were responsible for arranging the vaccine, but the Sindh government was helping them and will continue doing so.

The Minister pledged that the provincial government remained committed to serving the cause of the people in urban as well as rural areas.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Plea to empower volunteer nurses, physicians

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services) 

The community-based palliative care can serve to be a cost-effective method to provide care to individuals undergoing serious illness. 

Training and empowering volunteer nurses and physicians can change how palliative care, a method of care and support of a patient’s well-being by ensuring their physical, social and psychological needs are met, is perceived in Pakistan, according to speakers at the 1st Palliative Care Symposium at Aga Khan University (AKU) which was held on the occasion of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. 

An estimated 40 million people are in need of palliative care in the world and 78 percent of whom live in low and middle-income countries. In Pakistan, there are less 10 health facilities that deliver palliative care under the supervision of trained palliative specialists. 

The speakers at the symposium stressed the importance of palliative medicine and noted that it remains a low-priority issue in Pakistan 

They added that AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery has taken the lead in this field by introducing an elective course on palliative care to meet gaps in the national nursing curriculum. There is a need for increasing public awareness and formalising training to establish palliative care opportunities for homes and at the community level, they added 

The patients who receive early palliative care in the course of treatment of disease have to be given less-aggressive care towards the end of their life and have a longer survival rate since it significantly improves their quality of life and mood, according to Dr Ali Haider, an assistant professor of palliative medicine at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center USA. 

Differentiating between hospice and community-based care, speakers noted that while a hospice is a paid practice world-wide, training and volunteering nurses and individuals can be an affordable practice for families to enable better living of patients. 

The speakers at the event also highlighted the role of family physicians in providing holistic palliative care to patients with life-limiting illnesses owing to their accessibility to communities. Due to a physician’s familiarity with patient’s health history, they are able to advice on a multidimensional care model for the family. 

They also spoke about how palliative care is associated with patients suffering from cancer when in reality both patients and families can benefit from it for any illness that may shorten life. Some people also believe that it should be practiced when a doctor has given up on a patient and there is no hope. 

Another myth the speakers tackled was about children’s palliative care that it can only be offered in high-resourced settings when in reality, it can be provided in community health centres and in homes too. 

“Palliative care, on the flipside, ensures living life as fully as possible through compassionate, patient-centred care,” Dr Nasreen Saleem, a senior instructor on palliative care at AKU, remarked. 

The symposium was held in collaboration between the University’s departments of oncology, family medicine, paediatrics and child health and AKU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery. 

The one-day event marking the theme ‘My Care, My Right’ was attended by healthcare professionals, nursing leaders, social workers, health policy makers and medical education.

Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar come alive with 31st Paramount Book Fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

The 31st edition of the Paramount Book Fair 2019 is drawing to close as the cities of Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar, having come alive for the past few days, prepare for the final weekend of the glorious annual event. 

Be it the head office of Paramount Books (Private) Limited, housed in the centrally located Block 2 of PECHS in Karachi, or its regional office in Lahore’s bustling area of Gulberg, they are being visited by a large number of students, teachers and professionals besides general readers. 

The London Book Company in Peshawar has also been a popular destination since October 5 when the 31st Paramount Book Fair got underway in the three bustling cities simultaneously.

It’s not all over yet, as the bookworms get one final chance to have their share from the huge collection at mega discounts upto 75 percent. 

It’s going to be a busy weekend for the book lovers in the cities of Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. 

The students and teachers from many of the famous educational institutions have been regular visitors at the 31st Paramount Book Fair and they were warmly facilitated at the venue. 

As in the past, the students have also availed the opportunity of participating in the various activities and won prizes, besides being escorted roaming around the different sections and selecting books for themselves.

The decision of the management of Paramount Books to engage the visiting students in different competitions has earned them praise from the teachers in particular and the community in general. 

In fact the Paramount Book Fair itself is hailed as a worthy annual event which helps in enlightening the nations by means of offering generous discounts on the most popular of books and publications.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Pakistan’s unusual suicide issues highlighted

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Married women and single men under the age of 30 in Pakistan are among the groups most likely to commit suicide, according to speakers at a panel session Wellness in the Workplace at Aga Khan University. 

The event was part of a week of sessions and themed activities aimed at spreading awareness of the importance of suicide prevention: the theme for World Mental Health Day 2019. 

The speakers noted that research showed that Pakistan’s highest-risk groups for suicide were different to those in other parts of the world. 

In the West, single men between the age of 50 and 60 are most likely to take their own lives. But in Pakistan, youth of working age, under the age of 30, are most likely to commit suicide which suggested that employers had a role to play in tackling the public health threat of suicide, which claimed about 800,000 lives a year globally, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to global figures, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds with three out of four suicides occurring in low and middle income countries. 

The worthy speakers reckoned that companies needed to establish a culture where people could speak about their challenges and daily stresses without the fear of being judged. 

The forums where employees can openly share their concerns promote wellness in the workplace and reduce the threat of issues such as anxiety and burnout. 

Shagufta Hassan, interim CEO of Aga Khan University Hospital, added that companies should launch professional mentorship programmes so that vulnerable youth had someone they could seek advice from. 

She also highlighted the importance of offices having counselling services where employees facing challenges could access additional help or be referred to professionals. 

Speaking at the event, Atiya Naqvi, a clinical psychologist, noted the importance of friends and family in supporting those going through a difficult time, adding that the mere act of listening to a person’s problems helps reduce anxiety. She also spoke of the need to monitor one’s thought patterns and to communicate one’s concerns with those around them. 

Dr Ayesha Mian, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at AKU, noted that hopelessness and despair are feelings that often exist in people with suicidal ideation. 

She noted that being unable to cope with financial pressures, academic stresses, dysfunctional relationships and bullying were some of the determinants known to lead to passive or active thoughts of suicide. 

“There is a myth that only those patients with mental health disorders will commit suicide. While more often than not, patients who die of suicide have a diagnosed psychiatric illness, there may be those who do not have a mental health disorder. We know that for every one person who takes their life there are ten people actively planning suicide and a 100 with suicidal ideation, which is why prevention efforts are so vital,” Dr Ayesha remarked. 

She also spoke about how compassionate words and actions can help ease feelings of despondency that may lead to pervasive feelings of hopelessness and suicidality in those vulnerable. 

“Talking about suicide doesn’t promote suicide. We often underestimate the importance of listening and acting with compassion even though they help protect against a number of self-harming actions. It is important to listen with sincerity and without fear; if you don’t know what to do, ask the person how would you like me to help,” she advised. 

Over the course of the week, students and staff at the University participated in support group sessions and wellness camps designed to promote mental wellbeing. Students also held a Kindness Walk and organized a Wall of Compassion to showcase the importance of empathy and kindness in preventing harmful thoughts and actions.

Students, teachers, professionals throng 31st Paramount Book Fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

Thousands of students, teachers and professionals continue to throng the 31st edition of the Paramount Book Fair 2019 being held at the Head Office of Paramount Books (Private) Limited, housed in the centrally located Block 2 of PECHS. 

The 31st Paramount Book Fair 2019, which was inaugurated on October 5, will continue until October 13. It will remain open from 10 am to 8 pm daily, including Sundays and public holidays.

Besides the outlets of Paramount Books in Karachi and Lahore, the 31st Paramount Book Fair 2019 is also drawing big crowds at the London Book Company in Peshawar. 

The students and teachers of the visiting educational institutions, in particular, thoroughly enjoyed their visit as they participated in the various activities and won prizes, besides roaming around the different sections and selecting books for themselves.

The Karachi Academy, St Patrick School, The Anchorage School, Green Ireland Boys & Girls School, The Intellect School, Al-Yaqeen School, The Generations School, Jamiat-ul-Safia, Nakhla School, Morning Glory Grammar School, Central Model High School, Husainia School, Korangi Academy and The Reflection, among other educational institutions, have sent their students and teachers to the ongoing Paramount Book Fair so far. 

The Paramount Book Fair, held annually, has remained a popular destination for the bookworms of the country who have remained passionate about reading books despite having other avenues of recreation. 

Greater rush is expected at the 31st Paramount Book Fair as the last weekend of the event has approached and those not having visited it yet will surely like to be there before it gets over.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Iconic educational institutions visit 31st Paramount Book Fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

The students, accompanied by teachers, of some of the iconic educational institutions of Karachi visited the 31st edition of the Paramount Book Fair 2019 being held at the Head Office of Paramount Books (Private) Limited, housed in the centrally located Block 2 of PECHS. 

The students of the visiting educational institutions enthusiastically participated in the various activities and won prizes, besides roaming around the different sections and selecting books for themselves.
The Karachi Academy, St Patrick School, The Anchorage School, Green Ireland Boys & Girls School, The Intellect School, Al-Yaqeen School, The Generations School and Jamiat-ul-Safia, among other educational institutions, sent their students to the Paramount Book Fair on October 7, as the schools reopened after the weekend. 

The 31st Paramount Book Fair 2019, which was inaugurated on October 5, will conclude on the evening of October 13. It will remain open from 10 am to 8 pm daily, including Sundays and public holidays.

Besides the outlets of Paramount Books in Karachi and Lahore, the 31st Paramount Book Fair 2019 is also in full swing at the London Book Company in Peshawar. 

Thousands of students, professionals and bookworms availed the opportunity of grabbing the best and the latest books on their favourite subjects at generous discounts by visiting the Paramount Book Fair on the first weekend and many more were expected over the coming weekend. 

The Paramount Book Fair, held annually, has remained a popular destination for the book lovers of the country who remain passionate about reading books.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

31st Paramount Book Fair kicks off

Pakistan News & Features Services

The 31st edition of the Paramount Book Fair 2019 kicked off on October 5 with the usual fanfare at the outlets of Paramount Books (Private) Limited in Karachi and Lahore besides London Book Company in Peshawar. 

The Paramount Book Fair is deemed as an excellent opportunity for the booklovers to pick books of their choice at generously discounted rates from an incredibly wide range of selection. 

The bookworms of Pakistan have always turned in large numbers at the Paramount Book Fair to make it one of the most sought after annual events for more than three decades now.

One of the top features of the Paramount Book Fair is the availability of huge number of books to choose from. 

There are latest publications from all over the world to attract the readers in every age group. 

The 31st Paramount Book Fair will continue daily until October 13, including Sundays and public holidays and it could be visited from 10 am to 8 pm.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Paramount Book Fair 2019 from Oct 5

Pakistan News & Features Services

The 31st edition of the Paramount Book Fair 2019 will to be organized at three different locations of Paramount Books (Private) Limited, spread in different parts of the country, from October 5 to 13. 

For more than three decades, the bookworms in Pakistan have been availing the opportunity of buying books at heavily discounted prices at the Paramount Book Fair and another treat awaits them in Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar over the next 10 days. 

Intellectuals, educators, researchers, teachers, doctors, engineers, accountants and management professionals in particular, besides students and general readers, usually are observed making a beeline at the Paramount Book Fair every year. 

The interest created by the publications on offer, with the incentive of generous discounts, attracts the people from every walk of life and from every neighborhood 

Like every year, there will be great variety of titles available on different subjects published by world’s reputed publishers as well as Paramount Books awaiting the visitors at the 31st Paramount Book Fair which will remain open from 10 am to 8 pm daily from October 5 to 13, including Sundays and public holidays. 

As usual, the management of Paramount Books remains eager to welcome and facilitate the visitors and their dedicated staff has been assigned the duty of taking care of their needs in the book fair. 

Another standout feature of the Paramount Book Fair is the activity for the visiting students and tiny tots who are also rewarded with attractive and colorful prizes for their intelligence and creativity.