Roy’s Chal Parha: Education Emergency!

Roy’s Chal Parha: Education Emergency!

We’ve seen some scintillating performances by Shehzad Roy ranging from ’Laga rahay’ to ‘Uth Baandh Kamar kya Darta hai’. His proximity with the general public and the extent to which he seeks solutions for the myriad problems being faced by Pakistan, exhibit his patriotism. On the other hand, his non-governmental organization – ‘Zindagi Trust’
has burgeoned up since 2007 to contest the case of ‘education emergency’ in Pakistan.

Being a pop-singer, Roy is both a motivation and a lesson for any young adult living in this country. Unlike many, he isn’t chasing projection in the neighbouring media outlets, allured by ‘piles of money’ or the lust for fame. If he continues with his efforts, there are good enough chances for him to introduce a new ‘genre’ in Pakistani music industry- something like ‘social responsibility’.



A pop-singer, Roy is both a motivation and a lesson for any young adult living in this country. Unlike many, he isn’t chasing projection in the neighbouring media outlets, allured by ‘piles of money’ or the lust for fame. If he continues with his efforts, there are good enough chances for him to introduce a new ‘genre’ in Pakistani music industry- something like ‘social responsibility’.

Similar to other institutional transitions budding in the Pakistani society, ‘music’ also requires a reorientation. The mass media (including ‘music’ as a means of communication) is also ploughing for a ‘fresh crop’ that wants to satisfy the need of ‘social uplift’.

Making the message of ‘positive change’ vocal, isn’t an easy task. However, ‘music’ seems to be the compatible format considering the level of ignorance and illiteracy in the Pakistani society. Any nation heading towards intellectual demise should be purported by arts, literature and music to engender the thirst for ‘knowledge’.


Chal Parha- a new program being aired on GEO TV during prime time slot is a success story for the local media. It is for the first time that the most urgent need of the country has seeped into the electronic media to grab the ‘time’ and ‘space’ of a television channel. The show is unique with regards to purpose and format. Above all, it has the privilege of ‘Shehzad Roy’ serving as a testimonial. As the renowned singer himself says: “In this show, I travel across 80 cities in Pakistan from Attabad Jheel and Gulmit to Gojal and Thar and film in more than 200 government schools. In each episode we highlight an issue from public schools for example, corporal punishment, medium of instruction, population, textbooks, curriculum, teachers etc”

Zealous Roy also gets a chance to fulfil his passion for ‘bike riding’, while hunting for the loop holes in the education sector of Pakistan. You’ll get a chance to see schools where donkeys (real ones) are found in the class rooms. The host will open the doors of those buildings where the future of the country is being prepared or where the majority of the children can afford to go.


The promotional song (Chal Parha) of the program defines the digression of the society, in general, for not giving due attention to ’education’. In a light yet piercing manner, the lyrics serve as a stringer for the listeners. It is a rhythmic reminder to rescue the country from the darkness of illiteracy through the light of ’education’. Moreover, an allusion towards another dilemma of the society has also been made, that is, the non-acceptance or indifference shown to talented people. Roy selects a young girl hailing from Faisalabad as a co-vocalist for the song in order to encourage her exceptional singing abilities. She complains of the lack of projection given to talented individuals in Pakistan, the reason she hums melodiously: Pair ho par saya na ho, din ho par ujala na ho, aisaa mumkin nahi… (‘how can hope and darkness coexist?’). Shehzad aptly responds to this: Yai anhonee jo baat hai, mairay dais k saath hai (this strange thing is seen in ‘my’ country).

Chal Parha is another call to declare ‘education emergency’ in Pakistan – not just by adding Article 25-A in the Constitution, but to ensure its fair and proper implementation. It aims at revolutionizing the education system of the country for saving the lives of innumerable talented gems and to alter the fate of Pakistan.

Fakiha Hassan Rizvi

A blogger for The News/Geo blogs

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  • Farooq Hashmi

    Correlation between a maestro of performing arts and a crusade against illiteracy in Pakistan, is something of a lollapalooza. In his holy war against illiteracy, a pop singer, Shehzad Rao and his team trek upcountry to film the deplorable condition of the schools and the plight of the school-going children.The movies aired on GEO TV in the ‘ Chall Parha ” program bemoan the apathy of the provincial governments towards the pitiable state of affairs of the schools.The major parts of their worn and torn buildings are used as stables and cattle-enclosures by the influential people and the students of all grades are either huddled into one ramshackle room or made to sit in the open to fight the harshness of weather.The co-ed schools of rural areas are provided with no wash-rooms because that luxury is the privilege of the urban schools only.When schools are subjected to such a disgraceful treatment whither education? Reportedly,every MNA and MPA is allocated a sizable amount every year for the uplift of his constituency but the signs of any development in that are non-existent. In Punjab alone more than 4,000 schools are reduced to rubble owing to the negligence of the the government.The answer to the illiteracy question is not the Danish schools but the restoration of the moribund schools.The torturing of the innocent students by the incompetent and uncompassionate teachers is a sad sore on the face of Pakistan’s education system.Pugilists of teachers box the poor children’s temples, slap their cheeks, kick their butts, cane their palms and make them “murgha”, more to vent their own violent temperament than to improve the academic performance of the students.The condition of girls in the girls schools is not different. Sadistic Amazon women of teachers satiate their urge of sadism, born of some undisclosed deprivation, through the same measures as the macho teachers in the boys schools adopt for the boy students.Thousands of students____both boys and girls_____drop out from schools because of the teachers’ propensity to practice the torture identical to that done to the hardened criminals in the torture-cells of Pakistan’s police stations.Not only that the corporal punishment kills the sense of self-dignity of the recipient students but also it breeds a disdain of education in them.To fight that ugly situation two steps are indispensable.They are: (1) Draconian laws should be enacted to ban the corporal punishment in schools once for all.( 2) Every year a batch of school-teachers should be sent to the developed countries to train in teaching on scientific lines. Shehzad Rao deserves all praise for his yeoman’s service to Pakistan through his struggle for the cause of the reforms in school-level education.

  • Farooq Hashmi

    Every cloud has a silver lining. Pakistan is passing through the dreary dark night of turmoil. Needless to say that the whole country is under the sway of target-killings, suicide-bombings, multi-dimensional corruption and the myriad other forms of lawlessness.But,much to the stomach-cramps of ” Sardarji “(Kirpal Singh Dhillon), the feeble rays of hope are heralding the dawn of an era of egalitarianism on Pakistan. Some signs of that are visible.It seems that Pakistan’s civil society is on the road to a happy transformation.Yesterday,the National Assembly enacted a law illegalizing the corporal punishment of the delinquent students in the educational institutions of the country.Now no criminal-turned-teachers will fracture students’ bones with impunity.A teacher punishing a student with caning his palm will serve a jail term for a year.The credit of the revolutionary law goes to Shezad Roy and his Chal Parha program. Again,Sunnis’ grief for the massacred Shiites of Abbasabad and their pain for the annihilation the Shiites’ homes testifies to a positive change in Pakistanis’ mind-set.In another case a handful of warped-minded Muslims let loose a doomsday on the Christians of Badami Bagh,Lahore,They punished the whole Christian community of the area,for the blasphemous act of a single Christian. They tore down their homes and ravished their belongings. All the right-minded Pakistanis,including the right-minded Muslim leaders,rose en masse to condemn in the strongest words the act of naked barbarism of a few.The Muslim religious leaders,who usually are prejudiced to Christians, opened the doors of the neighborhood mosques on the wronged Christians allowing them to live as well as pray there till their homes and churches are rebuilt.This unique gesture of goodwill to the Christian minority is a witness to a positive change in mind-set of Pakistanis.Another remarkable sign is seen the field of commerce.Real estate tycoon of Pakistan,Malik Riaz has signed a contract with his US counterpart to build an ultra-modern city in the territorial waters of Karachi,The prominent features of the city will be: The highest and hugest tower in the world which will open two and a half million of new jobs, the largest state-of -the-art shopping mall of the world and one and a quarter million of palatial homes.