Episode 2: My Perspective

Sometimes I wonder, can WE make a difference in our society? Of course, every individual has the capacity to bring change in society. It can be through writing articles and stories, making documentaries, films, helping out people by contributing in their work or simply by giving productive suggestions. Such kind of small or big efforts make a difference in our community. We should not ignore our contributions or think that they are minute and worthless. Every step we take is beneficial if the intension is about common betterment. There are many people who believe that they do not have what is needed to bring change in our community. They believe that only people like Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Quid-e- Azam and Alama Iqbal can make difference. But in reality every one of us has the ability to contribute in our own unique way. For that everyone should have enthusiasm and good will to make a difference. An individual can make a difference if one believes in it. But of course, one has to really struggle hard to get support to have more impact.

As Sam Childers states that,

“Since that day there is nothing anyone could ever say to convince me that one person cannot change a nation. One person can do unbelievable things. All it takes is that one person who’s willing to risk everything to make it happen.”

Certainly, we should not wait for other to bring change in us, instead we should be the change which we desire to see in ourselves, in our community as well as in our country. It is true a good leader and a strong law allow all improvements, but if we sit around and wait, we will not be able to bring an affirmative change in our communities. It might also take decades and decades to accomplish our desired goals so we should believe in ourselves and be that change instead of waiting for others. The best inspiring leader and an example for many of us is Zahid Amin from Muzaffarabad, Kashmir who voluntarily stood to restore his city including bridges, universities and residential places like Gulshan Colony, which were devastatingly destroyed in the earth quake of 2005. The city was the site of the epicenter in 2005’s earthquake, which destroyed almost half of the city including official buildings, historical places, houses and many more. The place affected is a mountainous area where settlement is dense and somewhat dispersed as well on the hill slopes. The earthquake had split the mountains causing land sliding. Later, when it rained, more land slides and rubble fell down from the  mountains which became a threat to the lives of local people. In such a situation when everyone was trying to escape from destruction, Zahid Amin came forward to rebuild his city. He tried to avoid relying on aid instead he focused on self help, self participation and common efforts for his towns betterment. To  their home the residents came together, worked hard whatever was in their limits, and managed to get UNDP involved.

In fact, “God helps those who help themselves.”

We cannot ignore the fact that any social cause is efficacious when everyone put their own efforts. However, an individual’s  struggle to make a difference in any cause is very important. For instance, building the protective walls to protect residents of Gulshan Colony could not be done by an individual alone however that person was a source or mean who voluntarily took a step to make a big difference in his community. Hence, in order to achieve a bigger goal, everyone should try to lead and bring effective improvement in their society. Zahid Amin is an inspiring example for all of us to galvanize us to be a cause to bring a positive change in our communities.

This incident reminds me of the horrific event of massive landslide in Attabad, Hunza in 2010. Many people lost their lives and the whole Attabad village was demolished under rock stones that fell from the mountains. Besides this, since 2010, Hunza river has been blocked and converted into a big lake due to debris formed by the disastrous landslide which caused more than six villages to submerge and displaced many local people. The government has not taken any effective action to remove debris to drain water from the artificial lake and to assist displaced people. I feel that if our own community had taken an initiative by themselves instead of waiting for the government and other NGOs, many Hunzai would not have suffered for the last two to three years staying in refugee camps especially in chilling winters. I think, it is important that every individual should have the desire to bring change by herself or himself. Even if one individual had voluntarily guided Hunzais to come forward to save further villages from getting submerged, many people would have joined and collectively they could have made a difference. So, episode 2 of Ho Yakeen, gives us inspiration that every individual can make a difference in their community instead of relying on the government and other NGOs. After watching the video, I wish Hunzais would come together since they still have time to help their own people. They can make a difference by taking the initiative to remove debris which will help displaced people to get their lands back and they can start a new life.

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About Nazneen

I am Nazneen from Hunza, Pakistan studying in Bangladesh at Asian University for Women. As it is a liberal arts university, we are exposed to real life issues and events through internships in various fields. Last year, I got a chance to take a course on Women and Western Families in History at Stanford University in California. This year, I got an internship opportunity at SOC Films, which is a production company in Pakistan, spearheaded by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. I'm finding the internship really interesting as we are given various kind of activities in different sectors. I got opportunity to observe the process of selecting subjects for documentaries and we are allowed to accompany the production team to various places where they shoot for documentaries. Usually, our task is to take photographs of the process behind the screen and logging the shoots. Besides that, the first and continuing project we got was to make a blog inspired by a six part documentary series where the aim of the project was to share our experiences as well as to show SOC Films' contribution in demonstrating the individual's ability to make a difference in their communities.

2 thoughts on “Episode 2: My Perspective

  1. I agree with you, I think if an individual cannot make a huge or considerable difference in his community level, that person can make a difference at his personal level. If everyone tries to bring change at individual level, then most probably there might not be any problem that could not be solved by community’s efforts. Therefore, an individual’s effort to bring change at self level is also a huge contribution. Everyone should try to contribute, it is not necessary to bring a huge difference at community level, if we make a difference at self level that is the most valuable contribution.

  2. Thank you Ali for commenting, it is true that every citizens of Pakistan should feel responsible to bring change in themselves that would automatically result in making a difference in our communities.

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