64th Children’s Literature Festival kicks off in Lahore with a bang!
Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Day 1 of the two-day programme of 64th Children’s Literature Festival CLF culminated here today at the Children Library Complex Lahore, with 1000s of children, teachers and families participating with great spirit in over 50 sessions. CLF is the largest children’s learning festival of the country! Graced inclusively by government, private, and special schools it is created a positive narrative for learning through feelings and inquiry for ALL in Pakistan. Nearly 10,000 children attended the festival on the first day.
Punjab Minister Food, Sami ullah Chaudary inaugurated the 64th Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) cutting the ribbon of a beautiful installation celebrating the theme and tarana of the CLF “Hamein Kitab Chahiye”. The festival’s inauguration at the CLC Main Ground or the “Walled City Lahore Gardens – “Nai Reesan Shehr Lahore Diyan” mesmerized the entire audience with brilliant renditions by the children from Government Special School Choubarji and Shahdab School, two young authors who share their writings in Urdu and English, and the Sanjan Nagar School students of Faiz Ahmed Faiz poetry. The Minister whilst presenting the CLF Awards to longstanding CLF unique resource persons said. “Today is a very special day for me; I want to be a child once again- let us all work for the learning beyond the narrow text books culture”.
Commenting on the event, Ms. Talat Fatemah Naqvi, member of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab said, I am just awe struck at the scale and beauty of this festival – the only one of this kind in Pakistan.
Earlier Dr. Fauzia Saeed, Director General Pakistan National Cultural Academy (PNCA) invited as the Guest of Honor, said that CLF is a powerful platform that celebrates diversity and learning! She said “I am overwhelmed each time by this unique festival for children committed to enhancing the love of reading and critical thinking among children through beautifully crafted storytelling, creative writing, illustrations, theatre, music, puppet shows, digital, robotics and STEM workshops, book launches and book fairs.
The festival opened with multiple sessions taking place simultaneously making it very difficult to make choices by children and teachers alike as they hopped from one segment to another in a bid to attend as many as possible within the same time slot, learning the rich ideas of CLF!
Whilst announcing the need to celebrate learning, reading, storytelling, and children focused activities, Baela RazaJamil, CEO ITA and founder CLF said, “We are back today with the tilsm / magic of CLF all due to the efforts of over 40 amazing partners and 130 valuable and celebrity resource persons present making our children happy; multiplying the love for stories, storytelling, reading and inquiry for expanding our imagination. Good things happen when we work together for them to happen,” she said, adding that books, literature as performing arts and science as interactive inquiry of nature through all senses broadened the minds of our children and teachers to new and fresh ideas. To honor and encourage our teachers the Teachers’ Literature Festival will be held to foster professional development and multiply the CLF in the classrooms on January 23, 2020 from 9:00 -3:00 p.m.
The first day saw the Main Stage packed with kids interested in the atre conducted by Khaled Anam, AtifBadar to storytelling sessions by Suno Kahani Mari Zubaani and through the mural of love by Fauzia Minallahan open mic session for students” bolkay lab Azad hein teray” and a concert titled “Rocking Timeless Poetry by Ali Noor, Ali Hamza and Rakae Jamil”
The Shakespeare Hall held dramatic storytelling, puppet show by Alif Laila Book Bus Society, and Shair o Shairi ,Mushaira by Sanjan Nagar school students. Bano Qudsia held book launches by a 7 year old Zahra Bokhari and first time author Anam Khan along with Sign Language Facilitation and panel discussions. In Waris Shah di Baithak 1, full-day activity on the art of bookmaking was held by OUP’s team. FaizGhar Auditorium had Theatrical performance by Sanjan Nagar Students, theater performance by Rafi Peer and development through astronomy in Pakistan by Cosmic Perspectives. Digital Pakistan and Arfa Karim room featured digital various digital activates and session Safe Internet by ITA team.
Karwan-e-Iqbal held public speaking workshop, History of Lahore by Rumana Husain, Critical thinking and creativity, storytelling session of folktales of Kalaash were narrated by the ‘Shaman- .from the beautiful Kalash Valley and Khurshid Khan an amazing school teacher from Peshawar.
The programmesat Abdus Salam hadrich learning spaces with daylong activities including robowars by Oxbridge, the amazing LHC tunnel by Khwarizmi Society, Robotronics, Science Fuse and heritage activities by State Bank of Pakistan Museum teams. Potters, paper making, wooden toys experts, arts and crafts and three mobile libraries from CLF and Alif Laila Book Bus Society enthralled everyone!
Cinema Ghar had film screenings from Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (SOC) Films, Quaid say Batein, many others.
CLF Lahore has been generously supported by the Children Library Complex, School Education Department Punjab, Oxford University Press (OUP), Open Society Foundations, Oxfam, the British Council Library, Life Skills for Kids (LSK), Lahore Grammar School and Roots Millennium Schools.
CLF promotes creativity, imagination and responsible citizenship through multi-sensory stimulation both in and beyond classrooms and textbooks, a truly unique platform that practically illustrates ways of motivating children to learn through self-expression, tolerance and critical thinking.
CLF continues to spread the love of learning and propagation practically as the largest learning festival for children and teachers in Pakistan promoting multiple intelligences; being held from Mithi, Turbat and Muzaffargarh to Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi & Islamabad since 2011-Lahore marks the 64thCLF!