4th Indo-Pak Peace Calendar launched in Delhi (India) & Special Screening of Ketan Mehta’s “Toba Tek Singh”
On 10th January, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, a joint Indo-Pak Friendship initiative, launched its 4th Indo-Pak Peace Calendar in India. The launch was followed by a discussion on Indo-Pak peace with eminent speakers including Mr. Kuldip Nayar (Journalist and Writer), Mr. T N Chaturvedi (Ex-Governor – Karnataka), Dr. Kavita Sharma (President – South Asian University), Mr. Satya Pal (Peace Activist, Secretary General – South Asian Fraternity) and Ms. Shailja Kejriwal (Chief Creative – Special Projects- ZEEL) and a special screening of Ketan Mehta’s short film “Toba Tek Singh”
Every year, Aaghaz-e-Dosti, launches an Indo-Pak peace calendar in India and Pakistan. This calendar includes selected paintings of students from India and Pakistan and is launched followed by a seminar ‘Sharing of Hopes for a peaceful and friendly co-existence’. This calendar also includes messages from renowned personalities working on the peace from both the countries. The importance of the calendar is that it is a collection of shared dreams and hopes for friendship which we will be reminded of everyday.
This year, Aaghaz-e-Dosti received messages from Ms. Asma Jahangir (Pakistani Human Rights activist), Syed Salman Chishty (Gaddinasheen-Ajmer Sharif Shrine), Mr. Ram Mohan Rai (Hali Panipati Trust India), Lalita Ramdas (Peace activist from India), Mr. Anwer Jafri (Theatre artist from Pakistan), Ms. Sadia Dehlvi (Columnist and Author from India), Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa (Political and Defense Analyst from Pakistan), Dr. Meenakshi Chhabra (Lesley University, USA), Dr. Zahid Shahab Ahmed (NUST, Pakistan), Dr. Dhananjay Tripathi (South Asian University), Dr. Farzana Bari (Human Rights Activist from Pakistan) and Mr. Nisar Ahmad Chaudhary (South Asian Fraternity – Pakistan).
This year, Aaghaz-e-Dosti had got tremendous participation in our competition for paintings from youths of both the countries. From Pakistan, we received paintings from Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Toba Tek Singh district. From India, we received paintings from Baroda, Bulandshahr (UP), Dehradun, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Mumbai. All the paintings were beautiful and valuable. The selected paintings are Aditya Thapli (Purkal Youth Development Society, Dehradun), Avnee Singh (Ecole Mondiale World School, Mumbai), Bhavna Raghav (Pardada Pardadi Inter College, Bulandshahr), Jamila Rampurawala (Gujarat Public School, Baroda), Mehvish Majeer Mir (Sabir Abdullah Public High School, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir) and Tabassum Khatoon (Indraprastha Hindu Girls’ Sr. Sec. School, Delhi) from India and Anita Zehra (Lyceum School, Karachi), Fiza Salman (Resource Academia School, Lahore), Fizza Sahar (Resource Academia School, Lahore), Maham Gulzar (Govt. G.H. School, Gojra, District Toba Tek Singh), Wajid Ali (AIOU, Gojra , District Toba Tek Singh) and Aftab Ali Baig (St. Patrick’s College, Karachi). A painting by a Korean Student, Lingshu Feng was included in the calendar as a special painting.
This year, in India, Aaghaz-e-Dosti had collaborated with Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited. After the successful launch of Zindagi Channel, Zee has now launched “Zeal for Unity” which brings together renowned Indian and Pakistani directors who have made movies on Indo-Pak issues. Their movies will be shown in national and international movie screenings.
With the collaboration, alongwith the launch and seminar on Indo-Pak peace, there was a special screening of Ketan Mehta’s “Toba Tek Singh”, based on Saadat Hasan Manto’s famous story, starring Pankaj Kapoor.
The launch in India Islamic Cultural Centre saw a huge gathering of about 350 persons. People from all walks of life had participated. Students from Delhi, Bulandshahr and Mumbai whose paintings got selected had come and were felicitated.
The distinguished guests spoke on different issues concerning Indo-Pak peace. Renowned Journalist and writer, Mr. Kuldip Nayar shared his memories of having interacted with the leaders of India and Pakistan. He recalled his interaction with Mohammad Ali Jinnah who had stated that India and Pakistan will live as friends who will help each other in need.
Dr. Kavita Sharma, president of South Asian University emphasised on the cultural unity of South Asia and need to develop this South Asian consciousness to end conflict and develop the region.
Mr. T N Chaturvedi, Ex-governer of Karnataka stressed on the role that the young generation must play in peace building between India and Pakistan. He also stressed on the importance of education.
Mr. Satya Pal, Senior Peace Activist, shared his experiences of being in Pakistan, interacting with the leaders and common people of Pakistan. He talked about the war industry and how it is sustaining the conflict.
Ms. Shailja Kejriwal, Chief Creative – Special Projects- ZEEL, spoke about the stereotypes and misconceptions that exist on both sides. She talked about the objective of the initiatives of ZEEL, Zindagi Channel and Zeal for Unity, to bridge this and become a platform to explore Pakistan and life across the border.
A Pakistani student, Hira Hashmi had also shared her experience of studying in India. She talked about the similarities and the love that she has received from Indians.
In Pakistan, the calendar will be launched in Islamabad on 28th January and Lahore on 30th January. This calendar is also scheduled to be launched in several other cities like Karachi, Toba Tek Singh, Peshawar in Pakistan and Ayodhya, Chandigarh, Faizabad, Lucknow, Mumbai, Panipat and some other places in India.
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