Muzffargarh - A two-day Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) kicked off with colourful programmes at Sardar Kaurey Khan Public Higher Secondary School, Muzaffargarh on Thursday.

Civil society organisation, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and Muzaffargarh District Government organised the festival in collaboration with Oxfam International that coincided with the 225th birthday of the district.

More than 4,000 children attended 61st CLF at the historic school building in Muzaffargarh district of South Punjab. The festival was inaugurated by Chairperson standing committee on education, Aisha Nawaz.

CLF Muzaffargarh began with recitation of Quran by students of Sardar Kaurey Khan School, followed by National Anthem by the students of Special Education Institute in Muzaffargarh.

In his welcome address, Muzaffargarh Deputy Commissioner Dr Ehtasham Anwar said, “CLF provides a unique platform that drives the interest of children towards the joy of reading, self-expression, tolerance and critical thinking. We should promote these kind of festivals in every district.”

Over 4,000 kids attend 61st CLF at historic school building

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, ITA CEO and CLF Founder Dr Baela Raza Jamil said, “CLF seeks to promote a reading culture for creativity, imagination, citizenship through multi-sensory stimulation both in and beyond classrooms and textbooks.”

Learning was at the heart of CLF Muzaffargarh. The children heard and sang the CLF Anthem ‘HumainKitabChahiye’ written by ZehraNigah and composed by Rakae Jamil.

The festival offered a variety of activities. There was an open mic session ‘Bol k Lab AzaadHainTeray’ for students,QissaGoi and Theatre Workshop by AtifBadar, the art of story reading and a walk through the history of Muzaffargarh by local poet Afzal Chohan, STEM workshops conducted by Oxbridge,safe internet session by ITA and Telenor, arts and crafts workshops,panel discussions, pottery and khussa making workshops by local artists, book stalls and much more.

A documentary ‘A dream reignited’ by Oxfam was also screened for the students besides short films by SharmeenObaidChinoy. Life skills related sessions on self-protection and good hygiene and awareness sessions on child marriage were also held. Folk singer Iqbal Pathanay Khan mesmerized the audience with his performance.

Oxfam Pakistan Country Director Mohammed Qazilbashlauded ITA and Muzaffargarh district administration’s efforts to arrange CLF on a large scale.

According to the organizers of the festival, the CLF has been the largest learning festival in Pakistan since 2011.