An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Pakistan on daylight savings and the challenges in South Asia

Daylight Savings time is used in the US to save on energy – by making people work during the lighted hours and so needing less electricity to light up the work premises. Pakistan has also decided to do that. It is one of those decisions that create more mess than progress.

Such decisions do not work like a switch.. off and on .. and there goes everyone following it. Critical to its implementation is the communication – through normal and innovative channels because 70-80% of the population is in the villages and small towns!

And a country where the religion is inextricably linked to timing (prayer times) – such change in times can really get the entire system off the hook. This letter to editor summarizes the challenges very well:

— More than 80 per cent people have no idea even how to change the time on watches, what to talk of having any clue about this concept of daylight saving time.

— The new timings have disturbed the sleeping schedule of people, resulting into negative effects on their efficiency and output.

— Prayers schedule has been disturbed as mosques have not changed timings on their clocks.

— People in government departments or travelling long distances to reach their workplaces in cities have to virtually start from home in the dark hours.

— Routine loadshedding of three to four hours daily and now early closure of markets will definitely affect the business activities as in summer people generally go out for shopping late in the evenings, hence the traders are showing concern about their already deteriorating business and have refused to accept this change.

— Over 70 per cent population living in rural areas are least interested in or aware of such changes in time and will continue their routine activities as earlier, having no effects on consumption of energy.

— All educational institutions will remain closed during these three months and will have no effect on energy saving even otherwise.

— Business and private enterprises will adjust their timings one hour late and ultimately the new timings will only be implemented in government departments and offices which probably will hardly make any difference as far as saving of energy is concerned.

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