LAHORE: The country’s first ever Youth Helpline will become functional under the aegis of Punjab Government from next month to create a sense of direction among the youth helping them to become more effective in society building.
Secretary Sports Punjab, Haroon Ahmad Khan, and Rahsid Javed, Country Director Plan International, signed a one-year MOU to provide counseling to the youth of the province through a helpline, a modern concept of guidance which is in practice in most advanced countries of the world. Also present were Rana Mashhood Ahmed Khan, Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly and Chairman Organising Committee Youth Festival 2012 and Usman Anwar, Director General Sports Board.
Briefing journalists about the agreement, Rana Mashhood said that through this helpline the youth will be able to discuss their multiple problems and to find their solution with the help of seven experts whose services have been acquired to extend guideline in different fields of life. Rana Mashhood informed that the helpline would start functioning in a month and half and after one year assessment the Punjab Government will take it over to further carry on the mission of the youth counseling. He also agreed that even the youth ministry officials would require training and they would move ahead with letter and spirit.
He said that the Punjab Government with this helpline give the youth career counseling, education counseling, sense of direction and most importantly to work on their capacity building. “There is no country in the world with 100 percent jobs available to the youth”, he said, adding: “Punjab has taken lead to make the youth self-reliant and self-integrated because they will be the face of the country and leaders of tomorrow,” said the deputy speaker.
“It’s a first step forward and not the last in the working with the Punjab Government,” said Rashid Javed. Rashid also credited Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Rana Mashhood for taking this initiative. “There are very few people who work. They have passion for work and work with passion. There would be around seven to eight experts sitting at the helpline to facilitate the calling youth. They would identify their problem and resolve it.” He said Plan International is working in the country since 1997, safeguarding the rights of the youth and doing the community work.
He further stated that by 2020 as an estimate around 1.4 billion of the world population will be dominated by the youth and there would be only 300 million jobs available then. Similarly, getting 63 percent youth of the country engaged would be a challenge and providing them job would not be possible. But what this helpline would do is guide them. He said the helpline will work seven days a week from 10 am to 8 pm and experts will be readily available on a toll free hotline to listen the problems of the youth and to come up with a counseling solution. – PT