Educational,Cultural programmes galore


Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday, June 21—June 27, 2008

Noor Muhammad gulmitwala@gmail.com
It is very hot, here, in Karachi. The scorching sun, the lengthening disappearance of electricity, the sweat and the lack of entertainment plague our lives. Hearing about the intentions of Ghizar Students Federation (GSF), thus, was a welcome call for all fun lovers. But mind you the program envisioned by GSF, apart from catering the ‘food of soul’, also aimed to provide food for the brain. Educational and Cultural programs are a regular occurring, nowadays. Every organization, especially from Gilgit – Baltistan, fuses the two with ease and organizes noisy events to educate, ‘entertain’ the audience and, also, promote ‘culture’ of the region.I joined in a little bit late, because of a ….. tournament, organized by Hunza Welfare, which could not start despite a lapse, and obviously waiting, of four hours from the scheduled opening time. It is all part of the game, they say. The good thing about this tournament was that teams from across Gilgit – Baltistan had been invited to play.The local auditorium rented by GSF, for the night, was spacious and well decorated, already. All that GSF did was to hang a banner on the front, reading ‘Educational and Cultural Seminar’, and a lot of other text, and, above all, two tri-color flags of GSF. It all looked good and suited the occasion.Various speakers had been invited, belonging to various walks of life and representing different organizations. The speakers shared their views regarding the challenges of contemporary society and declared that with good education (meaning technical skills and information or knowledge) students can adorn their lives, and if time allows future of the nation. Obviously there was a lot of talk about the political and economic, educational and health related and other deprivations of Gilgit – Baltistan, in general, and Ghizar District, particular. It was nice to see that the GSF has arched with organizations offering technical education. This is a good sign and should be promoted and adopted by other student bodies of our region, as well. I was also delighted to know that the GSF had established a blood bank in Karachi and intended to increase its scope to the entire Gilgit – Baltistan. Patients need such help and people of Gilgit – Baltistan usually have been donating their blood, in the times of need. However, doing it all in an organized manner is laudable and needs to be sustained, for social good.The ‘cultural’ part of the program mainly consisted of ‘dance and music’. I don’t know whether it is wise to restrict such a broad phenomenon to dancing and singing. Having said that let’s not undermine the beautiful voice of Rehmat Ali, probably one of the best known singers of Khowar language, who had traveled all the way from Sialkot, to share a few moments with us. I wish he had been allowed more time. The way he plays sitar and sings is soothing.I heard the announcer saying that Rehmat Ali was the person who coined the name “Wadi-e-Shuhada”, for the Ghizar District, in the post Kargil war scenario. The name fits Ghizar because 500 young men of NLI from Ghizar sacrificed their lives at the altar of Kargil. Shina Brooshaaski and Khowar songs were sung by young men belonging to Gupis, Ishkoman, Puniyal and Yasen, as they say, “Baba-e-Yasin”. I was a bit disappointed, nevertheless, because there wasn’t any Wakhi song. A considerable number of Wakhi speakers live in the Ishkoman valley, beyond Chatorkhund and Immit, and they should also have presented their beautiful songs.The program provided good entertainment, at a reasonable price. However, there were questions about spending so much money on dancing and music. This comment is not specifically for this program organized by GSF. It stands equally true for all other student organizations of our region. Hunza Welfare, an organization working to help the patients and needy in Karachi, held a lavish ‘opening ceremony’, I heard, during its ….. tournament, with fireworks, music, very expensive lighting etc. Ironically, this was the tournament that could not start even after a long waiting of four hours. The leaders of these organizations shall be very careful while spending money. What we spend on getting entertained can be used to support dozens of students and others in overcoming their financial difficulties. The writer is a business graduate and a citizen journalist.

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