With Eidul Fitr around the corner, people are seen indulging in acts of charity and kindness — from donating cash to clothing and food. Eminent cartoonist and social activist Nigar Nazar organised a fun and enlightening activity of donating Gogi story books to ailing children at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims).
She was accompanied by a team of eight schoolchildren who volunteered to buy 1,200 Gogi Books Series story books and comic books with their Eidi and pocket money and gift them to child patients. Each volunteer would hand out the books and wish ‘Eid Mubarak’ putting a smile on the recipient’s face.
The children are in pain and most of them will be spending their Eid at the hospital, but having a colourful and interesting book to read will give them something to look forward to, hoped the volunteers.
“I want the (volunteer) kids to feel that they did something nice for the admitted children. We are trying to cultivate the habit of giving. These books are not only entertaining but also educational as they carry powerful social messages,” said Nazar.
A total of 450 children received a set of three books in English and Urdu with titles as diverse as women rights, power of knowledge, stranger danger and fruits of learning. These books come under the branch of awareness comics and are produced in collaboration with STEER, an NGO.
Prior to Eid day, many individuals and social workers bring gifts for students that are usually in the form of colouring books, colouring pencils and edibles. The admitted children and their parents feel happy as most of them belong to low-income households and cannot afford these materials.
Nazar has a history of making artistic-social contributions at PIMS. In 2008, she introduced cartoon murals and mobile entertainment pieces in the emergency ward for children after being inspired by a major review by Dr Staricoff (2004) on positive effects of art on health.
“Even though their acts of kindness are admired, it would be better suited if the children were given colouring books instead of reading books as most of them belong to uneducated backgrounds and cannot read or write,” said a manager at the PIMS children’s ward requesting anonymity.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2015.