KARACHI: Harnessing the creative potential of underprivileged children and channelising it into productive outlets was the aim of the Taleemi Mela held at the Pakistan Boys Scouts Association on Friday. In collaboration with the Indus Resource Centre (IRC) and Karachi Youth Initiative, 10 government schools from Lyari, Rehri Goth, Ibrahim Hyderi and Keamari participated in the mela.
Care had been taken to provide children, belonging to different ages, with a variety of activities in which they could immerse themselves. The entire premises had been utilised for tableaux, a variety show with musical performances, regional dances, short drama plays and even a magic show. Children as young as two settled down on the ground with poster paints, colour pencils or crayons and spent hours scribbling away. While some painted images that depicted their goals and aspirations, others shared their worries through these drawings.
Quraisha Karim, IRC representative, spoke about how this was “not an art competition but a medium to allow children to express themselves away from their usual settings. We have made it clear that no particular winners are announced and all participants will be awarded equally for their efforts.”
Representing the four provinces, children from different schools presented speeches and dance routines representing the cultural heritage of Pakistan. Girls from a school in Bihar Colony were seen practising the dandia dance while students from another school in Lyari presented a tableau that highlighted the hospitality of Sindhis. Shown from the perspective of young child, the scenes depicted the lives of a rural family in Sindh and the various jobs each family member is responsible for. With a hut made out of ajrak, one family member was sewing, another weaving, one busy grinding flour and another searching high and low for sweet water to drink for the family.
The theme of water was prevalent throughout different activities at the mela. The drought faced by parts of Sindh and the severe water shortage within the city were depicted through many mediums. There were school projects showing how the land and its inhabitants suffer due to this dearth. Other projects explored techniques of water conservation. Some projects showed types of biofuel and ways in which it can be utilised and how to harness alternate energy production techniques such as hydropower to deal with the growing energy concerns the country is faced with.
The ambience of the mela showed a world of endless opportunities with peace and harmony the order of the day.
Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2015
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