ISLAMABAD: The dark sky was lit up as grandiose lanterns floated into the horizon and people below looked on; Islamabad’s skyline could not have looked more beautiful. Youngsters, families and civil society all gathered together to spread one message to the country and the world — peace.
Almost 800 such people came together to purchase a sky lantern and release into the air in front of the Parliament, not only to symbolically spread the message of peace and harmony, but to raise money for a charitable cause — each person purchased the sky lanterns for Rs350, with all revenue generated through these sky lanterns to be forwarded to a non-profit organisation, Radiance.
The organisation aims to develop a school for special children in the outskirts of Islamabad that will caters to their special needs and requirements.
The sky lanterns were made-to-order for this event to ensure that everyone got a chance to individually release one or more in the air.
Muhammad Ibrahim, one of the brains, behind this event, told The Express Tribune that March 23 was the ideal day for such an event. “It’s Pakistan Day, and what better day to spread the message of peace? In these trying times we need to do everything within our capability to create a positive image for our country.”
Many boys and girls could be seen coming to the venue in groups. “Every day we see violence and mayhem on TV; people complain that the youth need to stand up, so here we are for peace,” said Ali, a youngster at the event.
An organiser said that on March 28, cabinet members and parliamentarians will be invited to release sky lanterns inside the parliament grounds.
“We plan on trying to break the world record of the most sky lanterns released in the air soon,” the organiser added.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2012.