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GOOD PEOPLE GOOD WORKS Zindagi Trust: Opening the Doors for Pakistani Childhood Education - P2/2 (In Urdu)    
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Today’s Good People, Good Works will be presented in Urdu and English, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Urdu and Thai.

There are millions of dreams in the eyes Standing in the way of life
Some wishes are there on the faces
They are not concerned about today.
They are like flowers, they want to flourish
They want to live their lives Let’s give them life
Come, let’s give them life. Come, let’s give them life.

Shehzad Roy (m): Music is a powerful medium to spread the word. And it was really easy for me to convey what I was thinking through music.

HOST(IN URDU): Sweet viewers, welcome to Good People, Good Works, featuring the second and final part of our program on the Pakistani humanitarian group Zindagi Trust. The word “zindagi” means “life” in Urdu. The Trust is a non-profit organization based in Karachi, Pakistan that was co-founded by Pakistani pop star and philanthropist Shehzad Roy and is dedicated to providing excellent education to disadvantaged Pakistani children.

In 2004, Mr. Roy became the youngest ever recipient of the Medal of Excellence which is one of the highest civil honors given in Pakistan for excellence in serving humanity. For aiding the victims of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake in Pakistan, he received the Star of Sacrifice, Pakistan’s highest award for humanitarian relief work.

Shehzad Roy (m): It's a very simple thing to understand that you have to help your fellow beings and the world and nature.

HOST: Born in Pakistan but having studied in the USA during his youth, Shehzad Roy is a talented singer and musician from Karachi. All his life Mr. Roy has been concerned about the lack of educational opportunities for less fortunate children.

Believing that “quality education is every citizen’s right,” in 2002, using the proceeds from his own concerts and music, Shehzad Roy and a few more like-minded people founded Zindagi Trust. He pioneered the “I Am Paid to Learn” program, which provides children who work to support their families with monetary compensation for attending Zindagi Trust schools.

Sadia (f): Mr. Shehzad Roy started with the idea of helping working children of Pakistan; there is 10.5 million of them who are under the age of 15 that are working as cottage industry workers.

Brigadier Abdul Haque (m): They work for something like maybe a quarter of a dollar a day. And therefore they obviously cannot afford to go to school, they cannot afford to buy books, they cannot afford to buy other stationery material.

Brigadier Abdul Haque (m): We started with a, with a daily stipend of Rs20, about a quarter a dollar. If a child attended our school, at the end of the week, per day he got Rs20.

Sadia (f): He was trying to get those kids out of the streets and into schools and he established 32 schools to help around 7-8,000 students around Pakistan go to school.

HOST: Despite the success of the “I Am Paid to Learn” program, the visionary musician realized that much more had to be done to help Pakistani schoolchildren.

Roy(m): Through music and through my organization I am trying to change the paradigm of government schools in Pakistan. And this is how, because I'm not into politics, so the second best thing is to reform.

HOST: In 2007, the Zindagi Trust, along with the Book Group, a partner organization, took over management of the government-run SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School in Karachi. Their objective is to turn the school into a center of excellence in hopes that the government will replicate the model in all of Pakistan’s other public schools.

Brigadier Abdul Haque (m): You can call this a public-private partnership in the sense that the government continues to pay for whatever it was paying for, like the teachers, which is the bulk of expenditures. What Zindagi Trust does is that whatever additional resources are required to turn this school into a model project, we bring that human resource, and pay for that human resource. And we've had very good success.

We've given a new look to the school, and we've changed the teaching, we've changed the timings, we've provided facilities to the teaching staff, and we even have facilities of a daycare for those teachers who have babies and they need their babies to be taken care of. They can bring those babies and put them in the daycare every day.

HOST: Outdated textbooks have been replaced with imaginative new ones. Exciting, interactive classes and extracurricular activities have also been introduced at the SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School.

Shehzad Roy (m): In that school we…we… they play chess, they do photography, and they do drawing. Obviously they have thought-provoking books. So you just see, it's not just they started asking questions, the body language, the way they behave, the way they talk, the way they think, the way they ask questions, so the whole culture has changed, the whole paradigm has changed. They love it. They're happy, they love it. The parents, they've never seen a school like this. They know that my child is getting what he's supposed to get; that he's at the right place. From this school he can move forward in life.

HOST: What are some of the main changes that were implemented at the school?

Khalida Malin (f): The first thing is that you see it has become very beautiful. Everything that is necessary for a school is present here. Teachers are available here, a library, a conference room, and an arts room. Everyone working here is working with dedication, love and good behavior. Everything has improved here. All the staff is from the government, and the rest of the management is from Shehzad Roy. Everyone works harmoniously and there is no lack of communication.

Salma Parveen (f): Five subjects are taught in KG2 (Kindergarten2): math, English, Urdu, reading and fun time. We have a lot of things for children’s entertainment. We have playgrounds, we have play places for children, and above all, Shehzad Roy has managed to arrange breakfast for the children, which is given in the morning. After that attendance is done, and the children are taught in groups.

This is due to the hard work of our Chairperson Shehzad Roy that our school is giving high standard education, and our school is among the best schools in Karachi, of the private and public schools. If parents want to see the teachers, then we have parent-teacher meetings. We call the not academically strong students there and discuss their issues. Disadvantaged students are given more priority. Their uniforms and all the stationery is provided from the school. It is very good. Parents are also very happy and in every program students and teachers cooperate with each other.

HOST: The arts are given attention at the school and the children thrive as a result.

Shehzad Roy (m): We started art classes. We have one of the biggest art room in Pakistan. It's a government school for underprivileged children, the children have freedom to draw whatever they want.

Because of this freedom, there’s a girl, Muqaddas Batool is her name, our art teacher Mr. Hassan said to her English teacher, “I want these kids to compete with one of the best private schools of Karachi.” I told him, “It's not possible right now; you should wait for two or three years.” He said, “No, it's not about English, it's about creation, it's about drawing; they can just go and draw whatever they want.”

So then they took part in the competition, and just imagine, she won the first prize. It was amazing. After two years taking over the school. (Wow!) She won the best prize, and all 110 best private schools were there.

Munazzah Mahmood (f): It is a good thing for children who were not doing it before. Like sports, arts, library, computer lab, children did not have these facilities before. So I think that these are such things which open the children’s minds. And they feel free to get involved in everything. Their confidence level rises. This is indeed a very good work for children from Shehzad Roy.

HOST: What are some of the changes reflected in students’ learning since the introduction of the Zindagi Trust’s educational system?

Mahira Zeeshan (f): Children concentrate more in class; we carry out activities so that children can learn and enjoy simultaneously. And children too take part in the activities. We educate the teacher too. Our standard has risen a lot as compared to the previous years. Students and teachers can communicate and understand each other easily. It is easier for the teacher too.

This one book that Shehzad Roy, our chairperson, advised us to use as the coursebook, it costs Pakistani Rs600 which is an unaffordable amount for a child of this area. But with Shehzad’s help and dedication, we are giving away these books free of cost to the children and we teach them. There is a difference in their attendance too. Secondly, if we go to the class and ask any questions of any student, we get an answer from every child. And children attend each and every class happily, like mathematics and English. They do not get bored now.

Khalida Malik (f): Thanks to God that education has improved a lot. It has improved to such an extent that our students have scored 92% marks. It is a very big deal. It is a deed of honor. This is our students’ hard work, everyone’s working in harmony: people from the government, people from the Zindagi Trust and people from the Book Group.

HOST: Here are some closing thoughts from Mr. Roy.

Shehzad Roy (m): Here in Pakistan I see this light in the eyes of the children. And I feel proud of the school because after giving them this opportunity they can achieve, they can do anything in the world. So all the children in Pakistan, that makes me proud, the way they progress, the hunger they have, to learn.

I just want my fans and the people who like my music or even the young young kids, I think they should really feel that the greatest sadness is not to try and fail, but to fail to try at all. So they must try and work hard and they must work hard towards the betterment of not just their country but the world. I think.

HOST: For its innovative programs to uplift Pakistani children through education, Supreme Master Ching Hai is honoring Mr. Shehzad Roy and the Zindagi Trust with the Shining World Compassion Award and a humble support of US$10,000 for further noble work. for the good work with all love and gratitude.

Our heartfelt thanks go to Mr. Shehzad Roy and all the other members of the Zindagi Trust as well as the staff of the SMB Fatima Jinnah Government Girls School for their collective effort to improve the lives of Pakistani children and give them such wonderful educational opportunities. May your benevolent actions be an inspiration to all.

Bisma (f): Our school has changed since Shehzad Roy has come here. We thank him very much that he came here to change our school.

May life become a hope, may it becomes love’s thirst.
May life become a hope, may it becomes love’s thirst.
Let's pray to God we share happiness with everyone
May life become a hope.
May life become a hope, may it become love’s thirst.
May life become a hope, may it becomes love’s thirst.
Let's pray to God we share happiness with everyone,
Now life may become a hope.
May life become a hope, may it becomes love’s thirst.

For more details on Shehzad Roy and the Zindagi Trust, please visit: www.Shehzad-Roy.com AND www.ZindagiTrust.org

HOST (IN URDU): Thoughtful viewers, thank you for joining us on this week’s edition of Good People, Good Works. Coming up next is the World Around Us after Noteworthy News. May we always treat one another with kindness and love.
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