LAHORE: The two-day Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) concluded with the aim to divert children’s interests from technology towards literature here on Sunday at the historical Lahore Fort. Large numbers of children came from different schools and with their parents to visit the festival on the concluding day. CLF 2018 was themed on celebrating the idea of peace, heritage and 70 years of Pakistan. Organized by CLF and WCLA, it brought children together from all parts of the city to promote literature, culture and young talent. The festival was a colourful educational learning platform that promoted culture and learning through multiple expressions. Events of cultural festivities, workshops, storytelling sessions, discussions and interactive sessions took place with renowned resource persons, CLF ambassadors and institutions associated with CLF. The second day of the festival kicked off with Rumana Hussain’s book launch titled ‘Zubeida Mustafa – Tasveeri Kahani Silsila’ where she explained how studies show that children experienced more learning with a keen interest in reading material if presented with colourful images. Therefore, we must at present take measures for the larger interest of children in book reading as well as story listening habits by adding more colourful pictures to the content. This in fact, was the very reason behind the above-mentioned series, she added. While speaking at the session titled ‘Tareekh, Takhleeq aur Ikeeswi sadi’ (History, Creativity and the 21st century), renowned historian Arfa Sayeda Zahra said that the majority in the state is responsible for the rights of minorities. As Quaid-e-Azam mentioned in his speech on August 11, religion is not the business of the state and you are free to go to your temples, mosques and other worship places. But we have done so much so that we can’t even continue unity among the majority religion, she said. Arfa urged children to end hatred from their hearts and live with “peace” and “love”. She said that life is extremely colourful, but only if we want to celebrate its colours. Our generation has failed to deliver the real Pakistan to today’s generation, the Pakistan which is now is not the Quaid’s but General Zia’s Pakistan. The second day of the festival kicked off with Rumana Hussain’s book launch titled ‘Zubeida Mustafa — Tasveeri Kahani Silsila’ where she explained how studies show that children experienced more learning with a keen interest in reading material if presented with colourful images The wonderful theatrical performances of children of the Sanjan Nagar School on the famous story Heer Ranjha received huge applause. The students acted as roles of the main character of the story. The day’s other activities included musical performances by Ali Hamza, Atif Badar’s Theatre Workshop and story singing sessions, Story-telling by Mosharraf Ali Farooqi, a session by Adeel Hashmi, puppet show by Suneha Puppet Workshop, Mural and Collage Making and a Book Binding Workshop for kids. A massive crowd was also observed at the stall of Arfa Technology Adda where students enjoyed tech enabled interactive games. Other stalls were also present, of the Oxford University Press, Maqbool Books, Alif Laila Book Society, pottery making by WCLA, British Council’s Library, ‘Bill gates da Adda’ by Microsoft, Idara-e-Taleem O Aagahi, Harsukh and Hast o Neest. In addition to this, the Maktab Khana of the Fort showcased Sufi stories – the art of calligraphy by Naqsh School Art, while Bagh-e-Maktab was instilled with illustrative workshops by the British Council. Another area of the venue, Khawab Gah Shah Jahan was featured as Kahaani Aangan, supported by the Beaconhouse School System, where story telling sessions by Narmeen Hamid, Sara Tehseen, Rumana Hussain, Amra Alam and Hareem Sumbul took place. Science Fuse, ITA, Citizens Archive of Pakistan and AzCorp Entertainment lent more variety to the learning activities planned for children. Sheherezade Alam and potters from Harappa engaged visitors in recreating seals from the ancient Indus Valley civilization. The Naqsh School of Arts conducted calligraphy workshops while Fauzia Minallah’s 100 feet long Amai’s Scarf of Peace simmered in the sunlight in front of the Dewaan e Aam. Published in Daily Times, January 15th 2018.