After experiencing Rio de Janeiro in real life, the street children football team were treated to a screening of the animated film based on the same city, Rio 2.
The Pakistani team finished third in the Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janeiro and have been showered with presents since their return. On Saturday afternoon, law firm Ali & Associates hosted the movie screening for them at Cinepax Cinemas. The firm wanted to raise awareness on intellectual property rights.
“Every year, we organise seminars and activities to engage the public on intellectual property issues,” explained Karimullah Adeni, the managing partner at the firm. “Today, on Intellectual Property Day, we decided to take street children out for movies.”
A global passion as announced by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Adeni pointed out. After collaborating with Azaad Foundation, he said, they invited over 100 children to watch the movie. The team and other street children were seated on the front rows of the hall and they happily munched on popcorns, drinks and burgers that were served soon after the screening began.
Director Javed Shaikh, who was the chief guest on the occasion, showed up right after the movie ended to distribute gift hampers among the street children. The event was also attended by the employees of the law firm.
“The movie was in English, so I can’t say I understood it all but it taught me that we must protect our wildlife,” said Aurangzeb from the Pakistani team.
The 15-year-old captain of the team, Sameer Ahmed, was smiling continuously after the screening ended. “Bachoun ki film thi [It was a children’s movie],” he said. “I don’t understand English but it was my first 3D experience.”
Ten-year-old Sameer also enjoyed the experience. “I could see it all so closely,” he said. “If I wear these glasses at home, I won’t be able to see anything closely right?” he asked. “The movie was really good and I could understand it all. The ending was just perfect.” Sameer was quick to extend an invitation to his neighbourhood, Ibrahim Hyderi.
The coach, Abdul Rashid, was a little apprehensive of the media attention and accidently said his age was 17, before he laughed and corrected that he was 27. After receiving a nod of approval from him, his team members were enthusiastic about sharing their experiences with The Express Tribune.
One of the players did not find any resemblance of the real Rio de Janeiro in the movie. “There was barely any Rio in the movie. Just birds.”
The project coordinator at Azaad Foundation, Salamat Bibi, felt these kind of activities always motivate the children. “We really worked hard to motivate the children towards education and sports.”
Since the street children had received a lot of support, it was now time to support the NGO behind the cause, explained Barrister Farida of Ali & Associates.
Adeni shared that they spent Rs150,000 on this initiative. “I must say that it is totally worth it,” he said, adding that intellectual property rights are very important. “The first question any foreign investor asks is about the intellectual property system here.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2014.