Lahore - After the two exciting days of literature celebrations of Lahore, the 64th Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) wrapped up at Children’s Library Complex on Wednesday with children’s participation and agency being the most vibrant aspects of the fun-filled event.

The two-day event organized by civil society organization Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and sponsored by Oxford University Press (OUP) Pakistan, Open Society Foundations (OSF), Oxfam, British Council, Life Skills for Kids (LSK), Lahore Grammar School and Roots Millennium School.

The co-hosts, sponsors and partners of CLF Lahore were also pleased to see such a great turnout in the event held in the capital. They all pledged to continue their efforts in improving the means and outcomes of learning for the children.

On the second day, Amjad Islam Amjad visited CLF as a special guest and engaged with the kids on the importance of literature and creative writing. He also distributed his signature pens as a souvenir for young writers and encouraged all the aspirants to use the power of pen to change the world.

Children’s agency remained in full swing at CLF Lahore 2020 as they were at the center of the two-day festivities at the Children’s Library Complex. The literature festival received a huge response from students, teachers and the general public as over 30,000 children attended the event. Schools from distant districts like Kasur, Faislabad, Gujrat and Sheikhupura also participated in the event.

30,000 children attend event

“This is not co-curricular activity but Children’s Literature Festival is Mainstream Curriculum,” said the Minister Food Punjab Sami Ullah Chaudhary, as he heard the young authors and read their writings. This was the best tribute to the Children’s Literature Festival (CLF). He further said that “CLF is indeed mainstream curriculum where reading, creativity, Science, Math, heritage, technology, theatre, music and movement is being promoted for making “Learning” happen. He said when a child learns in this mode, he/she never forgets, the dots begin to connect - the truth begins to illuminate. This is an unforgettable and largest learning event for children that I have ever seen!”

At least 80 sessions were held at CLF Lahore with over 125 resource persons and 36 partner institutions who were a part of the learning activities. Learning was at the heart of the two-day festival, CLF was packed with Augment reality sessions, robotics, pottery making from Harrapa, toy making, Science Fuse, Kitabgari, Alif Laila Book Bus activities, theatre workshops, open mic sessions, Cinema Ghar, Dastan-Goi, puppet shows, book launches, science activities, STEM workshops and experiments and exhibition, panel discussions, history of coins by State Bank of Pakistan and many more activities organized for the children. Child poets from Sanjan Nagar schools impressed the audience with an energetic Moshaira. Moreover, there were insightful and thought provoking panel discussions on topics concerning children’s literature, heritage and child rights.

The second day’s morning session saw the main ground packed with children who were being entertained by non-verbal storytelling session through animations by Fauzia Minallah followed by sing-along session with Khaled Anam, a wonderful puppet show by Rafi Peer that was the main attraction of children and theater workshop by Atif Badar.

Bano Qudsia room had several panel discussions in which one of the session was about Child Protection “Hamari Hifazat Kaun Karay Ga”. During the discussion CLF Ambassador, famous host and panelist of the session Juggun Kazim, ardently stressed on the rising concerns and alarming cases of child abuse and how we all need to knit together against it.

With the success of 64th CLF held in Lahore, it has become the largest social movement for children’s learning in Pakistan. Through these interesting and interactive activities, CLF Lahore promoted the ideas of multilingualism, girls’ education, children’s literature, multiculturalism, diversity, sustainable lifestyles, tolerance, and gender equality, among others.