Big fun for little ones at nature carnival

Event held to raise funds and awareness for the WWF's conservation initiatives.

Husna Anwar January 31, 2011

KARACHI: The only sounds louder than the booming music were the squeals of hundreds of little children scurrying across the green fields of the PAF Museum, where the World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan (WWF-P) joined forces with the Indus Motor Company on Sunday to host the ‘Nature Carnival 2011’.

The 12th carnival of its kind, these events have been held annually since 1999 to get the younger generations involved and interested in protecting the environment.

Throngs of families took advantage of the breezy Sunday afternoon and strolled around, enjoying the grassy expanses.

About 120 schools from across Karachi took part in the event. These students were the most animated, engrossed in raising awareness about their individual topics. Themes ranged from ‘Say no to plastic bags’ and ‘Solid waste management’ to ‘Threats to the Indus blind dolphin’ and ‘Animals and plants of wetlands’, while the less conventional topics included ‘Adopt a tree’ and ‘Kitchen gardening’. Children of all ages went all out, setting up rows of stalls depicting colourful displays on recycling and running projected documentaries in darkened tents. The winners of the competition were awarded shields and certificates and Daud Public School was named the overall winner.

The most interesting structure was a shiny monument erected in the centre of the park called a ‘chandighar’. It was part of another solid waste management project by a non-profit organisation known as Gul Bahao — garbage is gold. It involves building everything from houses to swimming pools from discarded recyclable waste. As plastic is non-biodegradable, these structures have a guarantee of about 100 years and are being used to rebuild homes for flood survivors.

The chief guest, Federal Minister for Natural Resources Syed Naveed Qamar praised the children’s efforts. “We collectively hold the environment in trust for future generations,” he said, “all of us must act as responsible guardians.” Zia Mohyeddin was the special guest at the event.

The carnival was part of the IMC’s ‘Toyota School Environment Programme’ developed in partnership with the WWF-P. The guest of honour, IMC CEO Pervaiz Ghais was present for the award ceremony for the best project. “In line with our ‘Concern Beyond Cars’ philosophy, Indus Motors has embarked on an environmental conservation mission along with WWF Pakistan,” he said.

Though the cause was commendable, the crowd seemed more interested in the carnival aspect of the event. They thoroughly enjoyed the competitions, stalls and live entertainment set up for their benefit. When asked about her favourite part, one little girl replied, “I loved winning a prize in the pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey competition.”

One 12-year-old boy, however, was particularly interested in the documentaries being screened by the older school children. “They were very informative,” he exclaimed, “I especially liked the one about industrial waste.”

The children were most excited about the balloon slides and rides whereas the parents investigated various promotion stalls set up by food companies such as Horlicks, Nestle and other corporate partners of WWF.

There were also some other organisations that had set up their stalls such as the Family Education Services Foundation to raise awareness about their Deaf Reach programmes. Toyota had also set up their own stalls, complete with a miniature race-track, a basketball hoop-competition and Lucky Dip.

The carnival’s primary agenda, to raise funds for the WWF’s conservation project, was deemed a success by their head of corporate relation, Marriyum Aurangzeb. “The festival brings together students, parents, corporate sector, media, government organisations and general public,” she said, “it promotes learning about critical environmental challenges in Pakistan.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 31st,  2011.


cinderella | 12 years ago | Reply This children look very cute I also participated in nautre carnival and we also win 1 prize!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read