Small Contribution

A friend of mine told me that this summer, he has started a small contribution back towards the system. He does not expect the practice to catch on because of obvious reasons but I thought I can share it here on KMB.

Whenever possible, he is handing chilled disposable bottles of water to the traffic cops that he finds serving the traffic during the scorching heat on the roads while driving through the city as a token of thanks and appreciation.

The very thought and image of a traffic cop in Karachi brings immediate disrespect and sour memories of any of our previous encounters with them. It is hard to think of being kind to people whom you see extracting bribes from poor rickshaw drivers, letting pass trucks with packed-by-djin loads, making mess of the traffic by stopping ‘potential customers’ right in the middle of the road and finally, being the iconic entity causing the unending torture to general public during the visits of VIPs in Karachi ‘who are not afraid of anyone except Allah’.

But then, one wonders, there must be some hard working, less corrupt cops in the ranks – those, who might be doing their jobs to 50% efficiency, if not 100%. May be we can become selective in our kindness to them and spotting better-than-others cops on our regular routes between our homes and our offices/schools/shops. How would such cops react to being offered such a token from those whom they’ve always received looks of contempt because of the ill deeds of their lot?

My friend confused me. Can we be kind to them by taking out a couple of water bottles or cold beverages to hand out to them while they perform their rituals on the road? I think it would take immense optimism to do any such thing.

If you were to be ever in a situation to execute this small contribution, what would you choose?

19 Comments so far

  1. Whiplash (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

    I would like to give them water bottles too… but they won’t filled with water.

  2. newb3e (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 7:30 pm

    yeh khabees piasy mur jaye gay agur inko option milay gurmi may bottle or 20 rs they will go for 20.

  3. pyroach (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 9:52 pm


    yeh khabees aisay hain k bolain gay k botul kholo aur uss main paisay daal k do paani k saaath.

    now the only job left for us karachiites is to “literally” quench the thirst of the pathetically-devilish-white-abominations!!

    being kind to them only increases their confidence. this breed will think that the public is scared from them and that this is not our act of kindness but the result of their supposed authority over us. trust me, this is how their puny little mind works.

    plus it might even give them the energy to do what they do best. and as for their job, the traffic jams (even while considering other factors) show how good they do it. they are corrupt either because of negligence or corruption.

    besides, it is the government’s responsibility to provide them such necessities not the public’s. i’d rather spill it over my car’s radiator then give it to them. another option could be to give the same thing to more deserving, less evil individuals.

    as for those who are and shall be part of this campaign, i wish them all the best. they will soon stop when… you can guess over this :).

  4. Haseeb A (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

    Yaar, Ghareeb log hotay hain wo bhi, although this excuse is not enough but first cut the water supply of “bigger daddies” who are on top of them!!

  5. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 11:35 pm

    even if some of them are involved in extracting bribes from transporters still its a damn tough job.. imagine a traffic cop standing all day at Empress market intersection where all the city’s buses pile up… it would be unbearable for a normal person there even for 10 mins… i also recently offered chilled drinks to traffic police/rangers who were on duty for governor’s visit to the area in scorching heat(they were on duty 3 hours in advance before the governor actually showed up)

  6. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 11:38 pm

    i think Jamash in some recent post told that he offered cold water/juice to traffic cops

  7. d0ct0r (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 11:48 pm

    while we’re talking about cops a related news that appeared in Dawn today

    KARACHI: 6,000 police guards serve city’s elite

    “Police guards often receive daily meals and a certain allowance from the people they escort. These ‘fringe benefits’ come with a monthly salary of Rs10,000 from the police department,”

    some times these cops do receive meals/drinks from these so called elites but mostly these cops are neglected and the minister/elite whom they’re assigned to don’t treat them so well….

    “Often these escorts end up doing the cooking for their bosses. They also fetch the ‘sahib’s’ children from school,”

    some Muttahida Qaumi Movement ministers were very particular about police escorts. a provincial minister had as many as 55 police guards..

    now this minister won’t serve twice daily meals to 55 cops and would want a police mobile canteen to show up at his places to take care of these these cops…

    some time these so called elites are involved in inhumane treatment to their subordinates

  8. pyroach (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 12:24 am

    “some” is an extremely benign and meageer word. how many times has anyone encountered them and had a good or justified experience? and how many times have they encountered them and experienced utterly rude behavior, a laxity in all forms of etiquette and professionalism and demand for money?

    if they’re doing a tough job, then so are the people standing and sitting, waiting helplessly in the stalled bus while the bus conductor tries to negotiate with them. everyone has their own set of problems and that makes noone special or gives them an excuse. its a job that they opted for in the first place.

    would it seem logical to say that the American soldiers are living in harsh conditions in Afghanistan, away from their families, and when some of their compatriots died in a suicide bomb blast, they were ok to fire on civilians in rage..?

    ghareeb hai tou ghareeb hai rahay, gali ka badmaash na banay.

  9. Umair Salam (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 1:36 am

    Even though I’m not familiar with the traffic cops of Karachi, having never driven there, I still think an act of kindness does not go unrewarded. Particularly if its done to people who seem to be have been stereo typed as corrupt (just read the comments above).
    Yaar, paanchon unglian baraabar nahin hoteen!
    I even suggest to Karachiites (heck, all pakistanis) to maybe design t-shirt saying respect our service men in uniform and wear them proudly…
    On sort of a related note, what’s needed in Pakistan is to respect authority (it seems to me), everyone seems to be criticising the government. Our religious teaching is to respect the rulers, as long as they’re not forcing us to do un-islamic acts.

  10. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 5:02 am

    Well am doing this since long – Those who say that they are Police walas’ are EHSAN FARAMOSH and KAMINA by nature, are very right as well.

    Baray Hee Kameenay hotay hain, 15 Zalyl Martay hain tou eik police wala banta hai,

    But again I must say we shall not give up on good deeds, Allah Reward us for that.

  11. karachi4eva (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 5:42 am

    I am sure they are pretty capable of “buying” things they need/want…..

  12. karachi4eva (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 5:43 am

    I am sure they are pretty capable of “buying” things they need/want…..

  13. mansoor (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 5:47 am

    even with all the problems they dish out, IMO they do serve the city quite well, atleast keeping the traffic flowing in the main arteries. If i had a chance, i’d do the same.

    Ofcourse, if i’d also give them hell if stopped for no reason other than to get a bribe :p

  14. wasiq (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 8:06 am


  15. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 11:46 am

    I second Wasiq, Jazakallah!

    We are the people who at one side claim to be educated,grammer school kids while the next moment we demonstrates our jahalat by calling them as Tullah. Shame on such people!

    My friend confused me. Can we be kind to them by taking out a couple of water bottles or cold beverages to hand out to them while they perform their rituals on the road

    Why not TeeEmm? this is what Islam teaches as well. The basics!

  16. Kashif (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 3:32 pm

    All tullahs are not same. Some of the them are honest and try to do their best in worst working conditions. I believe it may be 10:90 ratio. 10% doing work of the 90%. Also, its a sadaqah to do good deed for a fellow human being, even if he is a tullah :)

  17. Ramla A. (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 4:17 pm

    Giving water to someone is a great act of kindness and shows the humanity of those who perform it. Indeed the very thought of “giving back to the system” is the best part of this story.

  18. Truth (unregistered) on April 22nd, 2007 @ 5:51 pm

    I am not doing the advocacy of traffic police officers here, but i would support the idea presented in this post.
    think about this: imagine all.. i mean to say all police officers are corrupt and most citizens give them a contempt look and they have no respect in the society. what do you think this behaviour would going to do (for them and for us)? it will worsen the situation, the end result would be a relationship of hatred between the two!

    Remember the words of the prophet(pbuh), “even a smile is a charity.” if you think about this quote, one message you will get from it is that by your one good gesture you can help someone to change for good. its about giving someone importance, showing them love, respect, kindness. only good can kill bad if you were to act in the best decent(right) way. But we have to be patient when going through this process, because nothing can change overnight, it takes time.

    Giving a water bottle to a police officer/(anyone) standing/working in a scorching heat would make him/her ponder.. why is this he/she is being kind to me?.. the person getting water will feel good and this feeling of good will help him/her to learn and do good.

    I believe this is how we can change what is wrong in the people/society.

    give respect to others, help them and at the same time give them a hint that you are not doing this because you are scared of them or you want something from them. tell them you are doing this becasue you seek pleasure in it. OR from an islamic perspective, if they ask you why do you do this to me? tell them because i am a muslim and its my duty to help whoever/in whatever i can!

  19. Dee (unregistered) on April 23rd, 2007 @ 3:35 am

    Have a heart people, and if you cant do something good then atleast do not discourage others.Giving water when someone is thirsty or giving food to someone who is hungry is used to be quite humane thing to do but i guess we want to be bigger than God, who atleast dont stop our dana pani even though we decide to do so.
    People make mistakes but they do not become their mistakes.So please have some empathy.

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