KARACHI: The Karachi Zoological Gardens has long remained in a sorry state for want of proper facilities and grave hygiene issues. Students and teachers of the Foundation Public School (FPS) have taken it upon themselves to make the zoo clean and rekindle the love for animals.
The management of FPS hosted 'A family day at the Karachi Zoo' as part of their 'Save Our Zoo' (Soz) programme, in celebration of the school's completion of 35 years in education on Tuesday, ending a three-day campaign of cleaning the entire zoo, giving donations and renovating four bathrooms. The event involved a range of activities for students.
Peshawar to get its first zoo soon
"Five years ago, Soz was initiated to re-establish the bond with animals and to take care of them," founding member of the school, Yasmeen Minhas told The Express Tribune. She also said celebrating 35 years of FPS in the zoo was aimed at making families and students understand the importance of our cultural heritage.
Talking about how so many youngsters are unaware of the history of the 130-year-old zoo, she said it is our prime responsibility to play our role towards the welfare of wildlife.
"Students have showed great enthusiasm in making Soz a success," she said, adding that it is commendable that students have done efforts to collect funds by themselves and set up stalls, too.
Good news: New playland to be built at Safari Zoo
The celebrations were attended by over 2,500 students of FPS and their parents. More than 25 stalls were set up in the Mughal Bagh of the zoo. These revolved around different mind games, activities for students, face-painting, magic show and reading corner.
Garden SHO Imdad Khwaja deputed his team for security on gate 4 while traffic police was regulating the parking to avoid traffic jams. The school also deputed their own armed guards at all the gates.
"Everything except the zoo ticket is free here, whether its rides or face-painting," said Minhas. Four branches of FPS were invited for the Soz programme, which includes elementary campuses of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Sharae Faisal branch and junior campuses of Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Muhammad Ali Society branches.
FPS human resource and information technology general manager Muhammad Ather Ghazipur said FPS has also cleaned the zoo and done renovation work in some parts. "Our staff members and teachers have cleaned the zoo and are working here since the last three days," he said.
Proud moment: Three lion cubs born at zoo
According to Minhas, FPS has collected almost Rs1.5 million in the last five years for the zoo, which was all spent on its maintenance. Recently the school has renovated four bathrooms situated at gate 4 of the zoo. Seven-year-old Mahad Ali Jumani never visited the zoo before his school organised their 35th anniversary there. "It is good to know that we have such a big zoo and a lot of animals here," said the class two student, who had his face painted like a lion.
'Adopt an Animal'
"We are here to help you adopt an animal," said class 11 student Sana Hussain, who set up a stall named 'Adopt an Animal'.
"They can send money for the animal they want to adopt and we can provide food and shelter to these animals from the money," she explained.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2016.