Monday, February 14, 2011

Empty Promises

We, as Pakistanis, never consider politicians reliable. We never expect our leaders to deliver and by default, we don't care. But I just discovered how expecting change and not getting it hurts.

I study in Allama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore. When I first got admitted, it was an unknown entity. But in the last couple of years, our new Principal, Prof Dr Javed Akram gave it a new identity and made it much more than a medical college. Here is an analysis of everything that was done and everything that has been left as such or mishandled.

What he did:
1. New gates were installed with beautiful pillars around them.
2. A new market was made in a vacant space.
3. Brought a lot of media attention to the college through many workshops.
4. Did good name to the college by holding international conferences.
5. Brought new sponsors to the college (now even the directions' boards are sponsored by Warid).
6. Opened new departments in the hospital (Jinnah Hospital) and the college (e.g. a new post-mortem lab; previously Lahore had only one that was in KEMU).
7. Ensured diplomatic relationships with every group in the college.

These are a few of the very positive steps which won the hearts of everybody. But let's not get lost here.

What was not/ wrongly done:
1. I'm in my fourth year and I am yet to come across a single toilet in the Boys' Hostel whose flush works. Yes, it's that bad.
2. In his first address, he talked about how sad it was that the Boys' Gym had become a storehouse for old furniture and everybody had to play in the Girls' gym. It has been two years and guess what, not only is the Boys' Gym the same but the Girls' gym has now become a storehouse as well. A few days back, I gathered a few juniors to help me make some space in the Girls' gym.
3. Last year, he inaugurated new common rooms for the students. And yep, now they are storehouses too.
4. He made a new waste processing facility but the majority of the garbage is still set on fire in different areas of the college. I once woke in the hostel in suffocation because someone had set fire to garbage outside the window of the room I was sleeping in. Smoke can kill, you know.
5. He has made a Professor in charge of student affairs who is supposed to listen to and solve students' problems but so far, there has been only listening and promising but no solutions.

What it looks like:
If we analyze, the positive steps taken have been just to bring attention and investment in the college but no real solutions have been provided to the problems of the college. The principal come from a political family. His brothers include Parvaiz Malik and Malik Qayyum.
Though he was very popular in the early days, his popularity is now decreasing for being too diplomatic and being too concerned with the media and less with the college.

But that is what everybody else thinks, I just need a gym to play.

Here are a few pictures I took:

The fires:

The current status of the Boys' gym:

The Girls' gym before the voluntary cleanup:

And after:

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