President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday said that bringing street children and over 20 million out-of-school children into the formal education stream was of paramount importance for converting them into valuable and productive human resources.

The president made these remarks while talking to the Under-16 Street Children team that would be representing Pakistan in the Street Children Football World Cup (SCWC), Qatar 2022 and the officials of Muslim Hands at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The president appreciated the initiative of Muslim Hands, a UK based NGO, for helping unprivileged children by involving them in healthy and constructive activities and giving them proper training, education, social and communication skills, confidence and the opportunity to compete at the international level in football tournaments.

While appreciating the achievements of the team, he said that such steps must also be taken for the promotion of other games like hockey and kabaddi. He said although the government was taking various steps to engage underprivileged children in healthy activities which required support of the private sector, NGO’s and civil society. He emphasized the need for creating an enabling environment for unprivileged children by providing them with education, training and necessary skills so that they could realize their full potential.

He said that 60 per cent of the population of the country comprises youth and they must be equipped with the latest IT tools and training.

Earlier, while briefing the president, Raja Arsalan Nusrat Director Muslims Hands, UK Chapter said that over 1000 children in more than 15 communities across Pakistan were engaged in the sports activities under the “Child’s Right to Play” slogan. He apprised that the Football team comprising street children would participate in Street Children Football World Cup going to be held in Qatar Doha.

The president also handed over the National Flag to the team captain.

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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