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Our Bridge हमारा पुल ہماری پل

a cross-border link for journalists from India and Pakistan

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Mehwish Abbasi

#Journalist and #writer. Write #articles, #reports, #stories for different news papers. Interested in #women rights, #community #journalism, political issues and social activities. Sub editor at Daily #Kawish #Sindh #Pakistan

When will Eid-ul-Azha come? Only then can we manage to eat some meat!

We couldn’t eat beef this whole year. One kilogram of beef cost 550 taka which is beyond our wildest dreams. I went to collect beef which is given to the poor by the wealthy households with my younger son Sumon early in the morning. Here for the Eid-ul-Azha the richer people sacrifice a cow and divide it into thirds and give one third to the poor. I was not able to go to many houses because it was raining from the morning onward. It’s also difficult to wait in the lines for hours with my little son. After the whole day, collecting pieces of beef from door to door and waiting in the lines, I managed to collect 1kg of meat. My elder son and daughter are waiting for me at our makeshift house. They have not eaten anything since last night. After I will return home, I will prepare Chapatti and beef for them. We kept waiting for this Eid-ul-Azha to come! Only then can we manage to eat some meat! – Najma 25 From Pakistan

False practices, force and early marriages in Pakistan 

In this so called Islamic society of ours, its surprising how so many false and unfair practices are followed even by our most educated families. One of those is forcing your child to marry someone absolutely without their consent.
Abhe nae pasnd tou kia hua, aik bar nikkah krdo sb theek hojaega.’
‘Bacha hai tou kia hua, prhae likhae shadi k bad krlega’
And the list goes on and on. I completely respect the fact that parents have the right to ‘suggest’ their children who they should marry and who they shouldn’t, but Islam does NOT give them the right to take this decision all by themselves, specially when their child isn’t willing to.

It is estimated that 21% of girls in Pakistan are forcefully married before the age of 18.
These marriages either end up in divorces or children blaming their parents all their life.
Here’s a small series of photographs I recently took portraying this horrible act which has been practiced by years.

I know it won’t end this practice, but at least it may convey the darker side of it and educate someone to take a step.

Photo Credit: Rida Shah’s Photography

@MehwishAbbasi

#Sindh #Pakistan still suffering from poverty, illiteracy and professional begging.(By Mehwish Abbasi)

Pakistan is one of the richest countries in Asia but the people of Pakistan are suffering from poverty. The main cause of poverty is that they are not getting their basic rights. Most of the poor people are begging in the streets of different cities of Pakistan. If their rights were given they would not beg.
However, nowadays some people have adopted begging as profession/ business. Rich/influential people post beggars at different points in different areas. Mostly the beggars are children and women so that we take pity on them as per human nature. These beggars work for their lords in lieu of salary. I request/suggest the government to take a serious action and stop this business (professional begging) on the one hand, and on the other, some worthwhile steps must be taken for the rehabilitation of genuine beggars.

Her dream is going to university (Early Child marriage) by Mehwish Abbasi

Almost one year ago, I started working. The day when I first came to work it was my elder sister’s 13th birthday. She reads in class nine and I read in class five. Last year, a marriage proposal came for my sister, Sonia. She was broke and cried a lot by holding her dairy. I snatched that from her and saw there was a composition inside, which was ‘My dream’. Her dream is going to university. She was crying and begging to our mother not to marry her off. That day our mother did not talk to us. I saw tears in her eyes too. I usually love to sleep but that night I could not sleep and thought a lot about how to save my sister. I saw my mother was also not sleeping. Then I told my mother, I can also break bricks with her and earn for our education. She showed me her hands and said I could never do that. I told her I can do it. For us my mother is breaking 300 bricks every day for past 10 years. Then why cannot I break 100 bricks a day for us? I forced my mother to break my sister’s marriage proposal. And my sister started to go to school again. Now I earn 600 taka every week and give for her education. Every day after finishing school I come to work. When I return home, I seat to study. Many times my sister tried to stop me to come to work. I told her very soon she will work and I will only study. But sometimes it hurts a lot to hold pen. But I can manage. I can write well with the same hand that break bricks. 
– Chadni (9)

Sindh, Pakistan 

22nd of June 2017

To get bucket of drinking water is a struggle for most women/girls in #Sindh#Pakistan by Mehwish Abbasi Sindh Pakistan

#Water has become the most commercial products of the century. This may sound bizarre, but true. In fact, what water is to the 21st century, oil was to the 20th century.
To get bucket of drinking water is a struggle for most women/girls in #Sindh#Pakistan.
In many rural areas, women/girls still have to walk a distance of about 2.5 kms to reach the source of water. They reach home carrying heavy pots, not to rest but to do other household chores of cooking, washing, cleaning, caring of children and looking after livestock. Again in the evening she has to fetch water. Thus a rural woman’s life is sheer drudgery.
Photo and lines by Mehwish Abbasi Sindh Pakistan 20 june 201719399244_927705527369727_449297630156532857_n

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