“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr Seuss

Democracy in Sindh: A disputed topic
It is an uncontested fact that Sindh province has sacrificed a lot for bringing democracy back during Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) in Pakistan. Social activists, political leaders, educationists and laymen all played a key role in the movement. The province has a huge record of sacrifices for democracy. But, unfortunately, democracy still remains an unfulfilled dream of ours. Sindh has a variety of problems, ranging from social, political, economical to educational. The problems give a setback to democracy. Thus, it is not wrong to say that democracy in Sindh is a disputed topic. The current position of democracy in Sindh is a succumbing one. Laymen are forced mentally and socially to cast vote to a particular party. Is this democracy? It is unquestionably true that democracy in Sindh is a disputed topic. Similarly, the province is in the grip of illiteracy. The policies for literacy rate growth are a nightmare. It is a death trap to keep the natives out of school pre-planning; because, it is easy to catch an unskilled lion in trap than that of a skilled and aware one. Moreover, social, political and economic problems are also some hindrances in the way of a proper democratic setup. The natives of Sindh are socially surrounded by problems: poverty, illiteracy, child labour, violence, to name a few. Politically, the natives are forced, tortured and victimised through Kangaroo-courts. Similarly, socio-economic issues too deprive them of their good livelihood. To sum up, it is indeed a need of hour to strengthen the democracy in Pakistan, particularly in Sindh by empowering media, judiciary and bureaucracy, to make education free and accessible at doorsteps to all indiscriminately, to ensure meritocracy in jobs-recruitment procedure, to step forward for literacy-rate betterment and to give people inalienable fundamental and constitutional rights.
Imtiaz Essa Halepoto,

Benefits of planting trees
When done well, tree planting is recognised as one of the most engaging, environmentally friendly activities that people can take part in to better the planet. Trees provide a multitude of benefits, both long and short term. As well as being attractive aesthetically, they remove and store carbon from the atmosphere, slow heavy rain and so reduce the risk of flooding, enhance air quality and improve the urban heat island effect by reflecting sunlight and providing shade. In addition, the physical weight of a tree consists of approximately 50 per cent carbon, as such trees have a strong climate change mitigation effect when in high enough numbers. Some of these benefits such as the mitigation of the urban heat island effect and improvements to air quality are localised and will bring the most benefits to the people who live and otherwise spend their time in the local area. Other benefits such as the removal of carbon from the atmosphere will benefit the wider population, not just those who live the most locally. Trees greatly benefit the people living around them by having a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, reducing stress and encouraging outdoor exercise. This is in addition to the benefits they will receive from an improved environmental quality and improved amenity which comes with planted areas. This shows that there are many environmental as well as social benefits to planting trees. Strategically planting trees around your home can have tremendous benefits on the environment. Not only will you help restore life quality in your community, contribute to the environment and help fight climate change, but you will also set an example. Therefore, planting a beautiful tree is always a good idea!
Hira Zainab,