Announcement: Paintings of Hope invited for 5th Indo-Pak Peace Calendar
Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative, is inviting paintings from Indian and Pakistani school students from grade 8 to 12 to send their paintings on the theme ‘Indo-Pak Peace’ for the 5th Indo-Pak Peace Calendar. Schools or students may send their paintings in India and Pakistan till 30th September.
Best 6 paintings from each side (India and Pakistan) will be selected to be included in the Indo-Pak Peace Calendar 2017 that will be released in December-January in various cities of India and Pakistan through public events.
Alongwith these 12 paintings, 12 peace messages are also to be included of eminent academicians, activists, writers etc. During the last four years we had received messages from personalities like Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy (Pakistani Nuclear Physicist and Adviser to UN Secretary General on Disarmament), Ms Tara Gandhi (Granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi), Beena Sarwar (Pakistani journalist and documentary maker), Admiral (Retd) Ramdas (Former Navy Chief of India), Awais Sheikh (Pakistani advocate of Sarabjit Singh), Asma Jahangir (Pakistani human rights activist), Syed Salman Chishty (Gaddi Nasheen-Ajmer Sharif Shrine), Ram Mohan Rai (Hali Panipati Trust India), Lalita Ramdas (Peace activist India), Anwer Jafrey (Theatre artist Pakistan), Satyapal (Secretary General of South Asian Fraternity), Saeeda Diep (Chairperson, IPSS Lahore), Prof Chaman Lal (Former Prof JNU), Sheema Kirmani (Pakistani theatre artist, Founder-Tehreek-e-Niswan), Raza Rumi (Sr Pakistani journalist and Author-Delhi by Heart), Dr Ayesha Siddiqa (Political analyst, former Director of Naval Research of Pakistan Navy), Dr Dhananjay Tripathi (Academician at South Asian University), Dr Farzana Bari (Academician – Quaid-e-Azam University), Pankaj Chaturvedi (Hindi Columnist), Nisar Ahmed Chaudhary (South Asian Fraternity Pakistan), Ram Mohan Rai (Social Activist), Dr Zahid Shahab Ahmed (Academician NUST Pakistan), Kuldeep Nayar (veteran journalist and writer), Meenakshi Chhabra (Prof of Conflict Studies – USA) and many other eminent persons. We have also received messages from 12 film directors of India and Pakistan including Ketan Mehta, Aparna Sen, Mehreen Jabbar, Nikhil Advani, Bejoy Nambiar, Siraj-ul-Haque, Shahbaz Sumar, Tanuja Chandra, Khid Ahmed, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Sabiha Sumar, Meenu Gaur and Farzad through a collaboration with zeal for unity initiative.
In Previous years, these calendars have been released in Delhi, Islamabad, Panipat, Lahore, Ayodhya, Peshawar, Nashik and many other places in India and Pakistan. Aaghaz-e-Dosti receives hundreds of paintings each year from various locations in India and Pakistan and during all these years, we received paintings from almost all states of India and all provinces of Pakistan.
This year Aaghaz-e-Dosti is planning to have a peace exhibition also along with calendar release event. In this exhibition, we will showcase letters and greetings that were exchanged between Indian and Pakistani students through our other programs. Like last year, we had a special screening of Ketan Mehta’s Toba Tek Singh, this year too we are planning to do something such creative to sensitize the participants towards peace.
With the ground team of Aaghaz-e-Dosti that has spread through more than 15 chapters in India and Pakistan and 2 international chapters, mostly led by young women peace activists, the initiative is ready for its fifth year of peace calendar. This year, we are hopeful to increase places for calendar release and tentatively these places would be Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bhuvneshwar, Chandigarh, Panipat, Ayodhya, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Srinagar, Aligarh, Ahmedabad, Vadodra and Varanasi in India and Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Toba Tek Singh and Islamabad. Along with many other ground initiatives that includes Aman Chaupals, Peace Workshops, Discussions, Letters and Greeting card exchange, Classroom to Classroom connect and others, Aaghaz-e-Dosti is continuously working towards peacebuilding on people to people level.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti is completely youth led and voluntary initiative that works on no cost model for volunteers. It is trying to build a movement for Peace for the reason that peace is a common desire of every human being and a right. This is also in line with the UN SDG goals as well as basic human values of our subcontinent that teaches about tolerance, non violence and harmony. Being a traditional rival, both India and Pakistan have a lot of misconception and a lack of understanding about each other that creates and sustains stereotypes and hatred for each other. It is trying to enhance people to people relations and through this, also helping the governments who are also working for peace and friendship with each other.
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