The 5th Annual Conference on Marginalized Populations, organized by the Department of Sociology and Forman Sociology Society took place at FCCU on 29th November 2023. The Annual Conference on Marginalized Populations is an interdisciplinary forum to bring together researchers, policy makers, students and community members from marginalised communities to discuss innovative ideas for addressing issues affecting their communities in Pakistan. This year the event convened academic speakers from across FCCU faculties and departments to discuss the diverse challenges facing religious, ethnic and other urban minority groups in Pakistan. The speakers at the conference represented faculty members and students from the Department of Sociology, Mass Communication, English and Political Sciences.

Dr. Sara Rizvi Jafree, Chair of the Department of Sociology, and Dr. Sikandar Hayat, Patron of the Conference, gave opening remarks and gave a brief speech.

Presentations by Dr. Arya, Dr. Fatima Syeda, Dr. Qurratulain, Dr. Shahid Rasheed, and Dr. Shezad Ali were featured in the first session, which focused on religious minorities and exclusion: Christians, Hindus, and Hazaras. Subjects covered were the situation of Hindu temples in Lahore, the forceful relocation of Hazara Shias into gated communities, marginalised characters in Pakistani anglophone fiction, and the Christian community in Jaranwala.

The second part of the conference moved from barriers to health-seeking to patient safety, with presentations by Dr. Ain ul Momina, Ms. Tehniyat Fatima, Dr. Shazia Ilyas, and Dr. Anum Muzammil. They discussed issues including safety procedures in public hospitals, difficulties faced by Afghan cancer patients, environmental concerns for elderly women living in urban slums, and the challenges waste workers face in terms of occupational health and safety during COVID-19.

The last section examined agency in the political and informal sectors. Dr. Bushra Usman, Dr. Julie Flowerday, and Mr. Haider Ali presented on the difficulties experienced by women who work from home as entrepreneurs and by the people of Gilgit Baltistan.

The workshop came to an end at 1:40 PM with a closing speech and a shield distribution ceremony led by the Chief Guest, Dr. Addleton, Rector FCCU. Encouraging insights and recommendations for the protection and empowerment of marginalised communities were provided by the day’s thorough research.

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