The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) in collaboration with the Rafi Peer Theatre organised an Earth Day event on Friday to shed light on the WWF’s eco-friendly activities over the past year.
Eighty children between the ages of five and 15, clad in green shirts, planted 60 jamun, sukh chain and arjun saplings at the Lahore Safari Park between 8 am and 10 am. This brought April’s tree plantation drive to an end.
The participants then moved to the Rafi Peer Culture Complex off Raiwind Road. Rafi Peer group chief executive Faizan Peerzada and Anwar Naseem, the WWF operations director, planted jambul saplings to inaugurate the day.
At half past ten a puppet show began. First up was a skit, haseen-o-jameel magarmach (The beautiful crocodile).
The skit showed a vain crocodile, admiring himself in front of a mirror. Eventually, the crocodile comes to the realisation that education is much more important than wasting time admiring himself. A few other skits followed.
Naseem said it was heartening to have the younger generation taking part in caring of the environment and taking an interest in planting trees. “The children are learning about various plant species and getting familiar with the concept of caring for the planet.”
Peerzada said he was proud to be part of the eco-friendly initiative adding that his group would work with the WWF to produce and stage shows with environment-friendly messages.
A magician later enchanted the kids with his clever tricks. Around 150 students from Johar Town, Allama Iqbal Town and Sheikhupura campuses of Core School System also attended the event.
The event ended with a performance by four actors performing a duck dance on Yaro yehi dosti hai¬, a Junoon song, emphasising the need for love, friendship and brotherhood.
WWF reaches out to students Under the Green School Programme, initiated by WWF Lahore a year ago, over 200 saplings have been planted.
An internship programme was also initiated by WWF at the Forman Christian College where over 100 shisham, jambul and neem saplings have been planted by 91 students in April 2011 alone.
The internship, which aims to advise the students to care about the environment and to engage in healthy activities like gardening and seasonal tree/flower plantations, will run until June 2011.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2011.