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Archive for the ‘ZMQ INC.’ Category

Story #6: School Shoes (School ka Joota)


YOURSTORYTELLER

is a social enterprise that creates digital talking comics based on true stories and raises awareness on the triumphs and struggles of common individuals.
We will be bringing digital stories based on or adapted from true stories, highlighting an important social issue in each story.

Story #6: School Shoes (School Ka Joota)

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According to a report by World Bank, in 2016, a total of 263 million children from ages 5- 16 years did not go to school.

According to the report, among the first to be left outside school are those already in a vulnerable societal position because of gender, disability, caste, or belonging to a certain ethic group. Poverty is still one of the biggest obstacles to a child going to school.
The quality of education plays a part as well. If the quality of education is seen as poor, parents may not be ready to send their children to school, says the report.

According to UNICEF, #Pakistan has the world’s second-highest number of out-of-school children (OOSC) with an estimated 22.8 million children aged 5-16 not attending school, representing 44 per cent of the total population in this age group (Link 1).
India has 17.8 million Out of School Children between in ages 5-13 years. ( Link 2)

Education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future. 

Education is not a privilege. It is a human right.

Every child has the right to an education regardless of who they are, where they live or how much money their family has. 

 

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Story #4: Girl Refugees


YOURSTORYTELLER

is a social enterprise that creates digital talking comics based on true stories and raises awareness on the triumphs and struggles of common individuals.
We will be bringing digital stories based on or adapted from true stories, highlighting an important social issue in each story.

Story #4: Girl Refugee

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Girl Refugees  is a fictional story  on female feticide i.e. the termination of pregnancy when it is a girl child.

There are 50 million girls missing in the world due to female feticide.
Girls who are lost in the womb have no voice of their own.

This story is an attempt to give them the voice, and to make people realize, what if they were allowed to live a life everyone deserves.
Imagine as if you are hearing their pain from the skies !

Story #2: Invisible Scar (Mansik Hinsa)


YOURSTORYTELLER

is a social enterprise that creates digital talking comics based on true stories and raises awareness on the triumphs and struggles of common individuals.
We will be bringing digital stories based on or adapted from true stories, highlighting an important social issue in each story.

 Story #2:  INVISIBLE SCAR

 

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Psychological abuse is common and yet few understand the psychological abuse definition enough to spot it. Without the visible signs of physical abuse, psychological abuse can stay hidden for years.
Psychological abuse, though, can be just as devastating as physical abuse. Psychological abuse can affect your inner thoughts and feelings as well as exert control over your life. You may feel uncertain of the world around you and unsafe in your own home.

Signs and symptoms of psychological abuse include:

  • Name calling
  • Yelling
  • Insulting the person
  • Threatening the person or threatening to take away something that is important to them
  • Imitating or mocking the person
  • Swearing at them
  • Ignoring
  • Isolating the person
  • Excluding them from meaningful events or activities

Psychological abuse can destroy intimate relationships, friendships and even your own relationship with yourself.

Mosaic Festival 2012: Day 3: Shafqat Amanat Ali ~ an electrifying concert


Towards evening, as the time for Shafqat Amanat Ali’s concert approached on the third day of Mosaic Festival 2012, there was a visible increase in the hustle bustle in the Celebration Square. Before he could even come, the lawns were full.

Dressed casually, Shafqat walked on the stage amidst cheers, after being e introduction by none other than Sohail Rana.

The first song ‘ankhon ke sagar, le doobe humein ‘, was enough to drown the crowd into a Shafqat frenzy.

Then followed the khamaj “mora sayyan mo se boley naa,” which  transformed the mood of an excited crowd into that of a sombre ecstasy.

Having talked to Shafqat in the waiting room, prior to the show, he had mentioned of his conviction for Indo Pak cross cultural exchange.
He had promised, “As such we artists contribute a great deal towards that, but I would consider myself very fortunate to support anyone who works towards making it into a reality.”

Carrying on that conviction in the crowd, he dedicated the third song, Ye Hausla, towards “India Pakistan Peace” amidst an uproar of applause for his dedication. By just this  third song, the crowd had been immensely electrified. The words were powerful and seemed to reiterate his promise even more strongly.
Ye hausla kaise jhukey, ye arzoo kaisey rukey. Manzil mushkil to kya, dhundla ye saahil to kya…”

I noticed a lady, sitting on the front most rows, reciting every song of his, verse by verse.

“You seem to be his diehard fan?” I asked.

Pat came her reply, “Yes, I love the imagination with which he brings fusion of different genres in his music. Though many of them are coming from Bollywood, but are yet not cliché’ Bollywood. It touches the strings of the heart. “ Sapna, as she introduced herself, is a new immigrant from Delhi, and takes pride, that she knows all the songs he has sung so far.

In the conversation earlier, Shafqat had told about his family’s experimentation with different kinds of music. He mentioned of how his father Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, excelled in Ghazal singing despite being earlier dissuaded as not deemed suitable to his classical background of Patiala gharana. He referenced the experimentation of his brother, Asad Amanat Ali’s with various forms, including Punjabi.
A soft spoken Shafqat Amanat Ali, to me was contrary to the image I had of him through his “Rockstar Ustad” image. I had expected I would meet a loud, talkative, rock star personality. Diametrically contrary to my image, he was extremely soft, and sombre not just in voice, but expressions and body language too.

Most of my questions, some serious, and some not so serious, were mostly answered by him with a uniform sobriety, with just a slight smile on the question, “Why did you take up a degree in Political Science?”

The smile followed with a simple answer, that “he was the first one to go to the University, from his family, and hence, without much direction being given, he followed, what his friends chose to study.”

Being a musician, to him was inevitable, as this is how kids in his gharana are trained from a very early age. “They are left with little choice to do anything else.”

If he is not doing music, what does he do? “I watch a list of movies, and sleep”, replied Shafqat.

We had been told by his manager that he loves food, especially desi food. So came my obvious question: “What’s your favourite food?”
“Biryani Saag” , was the instant reply, but with a quizzed expression on me, he preferred to explain, as “a relative unknown dish, being his favourite dish. It is cooked on occasions and in special deghs, by the cooks.”

The manager also revealed Shafqat’s love for nature. He reminisced of the time, when due to a beautiful foggy weather in Malaysia, they went for a walk, and during that stroll composed one of his most beautiful songs.
“Tell us something in this blog that you have never shared before, but would wish to.” I asked.

With an expression of hurt he shared, “ I was a rejected singer on PTV, and ….” .

However it hurt me too, to have asked that, so I switched instantly to, “What special message would you give to Mosaic Festival?”   And his instantly opened arms and a flying kiss towards all the Mosaic volunteers standing around, did all the talking.

Back to the concert, each song that followed, further mesmerised the crowd . Half way through the concert, the jam packed crowd was completely electrified. The radiation of enthusiasm could not hold back an interactive Shafqat’s energy too, and he chose to come down into more proximity to his fans, shaking hands, giving them hugs and sharing the mic with them to sing.

Before he began the folk song “Main nai jana pardes biharwa’, he paid a tribute to Tufail Niazi, the great folk singer, considering himself fortunate to have re sung the song.

After almost a dozen melodious renditions, and with time to close, the crowd was too charged to let him go that easily. Amidst almost everyone screaming “one more” and “Eid Mubarak”, a bunch of threesome fans near the stage were screaming:

“Shafqat tussi great ho”…and out of modesty with no smiles he replied “Eidi chahiye?”

They were right behind me, so I turned and asked, “Any specific reason you say so, or is it just for more songs?”

Each one of the young girls, Chhavi, Saumya and Esha had different replies, which they literally had to scream out, due to the cheers all around.
“He’s versatile and very powerful.”

“Most soulful singer.”

“Kudos to him for bringing classical back to the youth.”
To convince the crowd, that it was time to leave, he even tried to parody “Aaj gaane ki zid na karo, dekho pit jaoge, aisi baatein kiya na karo”, but the verses fell unheard on the screaming crowd.

As I tweeted and posted a picture of the crowd on the face book :

Ilmana Fasih ‏@ZEEMANA
Electrified crowd at #ShafqatAmanatAli concert #MosaicFest2012http://yfrog.com/kibnaboj

Almost instantly came a reply tweet from Pakistan:

akeelchaudhry ‏@akeelchaudhry
One of the finest singers I must say “@ZEEMANA: Electrified crowd at#ShafqatAmanatAli concert #MosaicFest2012 http://yfrog.com/kibnaboj

Just the way how an incredibly electrifying evening should come to a close, the last song, which he chose to sing, did actually help to pacify an emotionally charged crowd.

It was perhaps the most touching of his songs, I had ever heard. After hearing it live, at the close, meant, it would linger much longer in the head.

And as I walked back home after the concert, and unknowingly, I kept humming it all the way.

“Kuch ajab khel kartar key, morey Saeen Gharib Nawaz key,
Ek ko deeno mulak khajaney, ek bhikaari anaaj key. “

 

ZMQ: Spreading Social Awareness via Gaming


http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/videoshow/7366009.cms

My statement on M-Health at M -Health Summit 2010, Washington D.C.


ZMQ PRESENTATION AT USAID