Youth Challenge

The stars above us, govern our conditions.— Shakespeare

Azam Khan, an 18-year-old, works in a boutique in Karachi for 10 hours as an errand boy and earns Rs12,000 a month. Shy and soft-spoken, he thinks it is the stars that determine one’s life path. “What can I aspire to? I have no education. Jo naseeb mein hai [whatever destiny has in store]…” he mumbles. He comes from Shangla, one of the most deprived districts in Pakistan. He is the lad who irritates the policymakers and the politicians because he has no story to tell — no story of hope, no story of reaching out for the stars, no story of ‘youth creativity and energy’, the phrase our policy documents on youth bulge and youth dividend are full of.

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