I was skimming through a newspaper recently when I came across a really bizarre news article. The article was about a Pakistani man having 23 wives and 93 kids! This man aims to complete a century of children by 2013, with the hope of getting his name in the Guinness Book of World Record. He is a resident of Dubai and the government of UAE is supporting him and his largely extended family with 60 thousand dirhams per month. Isn’t this really absurd? This man named Abdur Rehman does not even know the name of all his children nor does he know which child is from which of his wives. Do you think a man having such a vast family is able to even bring up his children properly? The sole objective of bringing them into this world is just for the sake of a “World Record”, what happens to them after they are born, bears no importance at all.
This is just one example of the many careless and inconsiderate parents in our society. The idea of having a license to become a parent might sound totally ridiculous to most of you, but the brutality prevailing in our society even in parents, since about a decade or two has forced me to believe that we are in a dire need of this. Closing our eyes towards the facts doesn’t change them, it actually makes them worse. We require education and testing to qualify for a license to drive a car, shoot a gun, fly a plane, catch a fish, or operate a ham radio. Yet, most people give very little forethought to parenthood, and are given very little, if any, training for one of life’s most demanding and important jobs.
According to a UNICEF report (2004) approximately 40% of the total child population under the age of 5 years suffered malnutrition, 63% between 6 months to 3 years stunted growth, anemic and underweight and infant mortality rate is 81%. Poor conditions extend to the education sector too, 23 million children in Pakistan had never been to school and 21% were the victim of child marriages.