KARACHI: Some of the most melodious young voices showcased their talent at the TCF Obhartay Sitaray 2018 event, which concluded here on Saturday.
With Lollywood classics including ‘Jab koi pyar se bulaye ga’ to modern-day ballad ‘Zindigi khaak to na thee’ to the upbeat folk ‘Saasu mangay kookray’ to ‘Mera piya ghar aya’, the stage was set on fire by pre-teens and teens.
The competition saw participation of 629 students — belonging to The Citizen Foundation Schools and private ones — from all over Karachi. The final event saw 88 voices in 32 teams to compete along with the judges’ panel comprising eminent singers such as Afshan Ahmed, Tina Sani and Salman Alvi. The chief guest of the event was US Consul General Grace W. Shelton.
The most interesting thing about the event was that all songs were Pakistani and ranged from regional tappay to ghazal and qawwali, pop songs and Lollywood gems.
Two bright TCF School winners included Shanzay, student of class 6 and Ali Hussain, of class 8.
Shanzay’s ‘Mujhay tum nazar se gira to rahay ho’ and Hussain’s ‘Jab koi pyar se milayee’ garnered applause.
Talking to Dawn, Shanzay said she wanted to continue singing and maybe take it up professionally. The shy Hussain was more than willing to oblige and sang the Lollywood classic.
The two winners went around proudly carrying their trophies.
Talking to Dawn, Sara Nasir, an A-levels student from Beaconhouse School, said the event motivated her. “My parents wouldn’t discourage me from singing but I do want to finish my studies and eventually become a singer professionally.”
Sara’s enthusiastic and supportive mother, Reena Nasir, said initiatives like Obharaty Sitaray should be supported and encouraged. “The competition is giving lots of confidence to students. More than wining, it’s the process of participation that is important.”
Giving an example, she said she witnessed a positive change in her daughter. “Since she signed up for the competition, she has moved away from twiddling on the phone to something more substantial.”
She further said that young children these days don’t have many avenues and there was no children’s programming with local content. “I learned all the milli naghmay from TV shows like Saray Dost Hamary and Sang Sang Chalay.”
Mrs Ali, a middle-aged lady who was there to support her nephew, said competitions like these provided a healthy outlet to children. “The kids are overworked with studies and an event like this gives them a chance to indulge in something they are passionate about.”
In a statement, TCF Chairman and Co-founder Ateeq Riaz said the TCF remained committed to the cause of education and believed that education had to be more than just textbook studies.
“I am delighted to see such young students perform difficult Pakistani songs with great poise. You see these bright children of private schools sharing stage with the TCF children and you cannot help but see a brilliant future of our country,” the statement added.
Project leader of Obhartay Sitaray, Biba Baseer said the project had become a singing platform for the young and talented children of our country who “have the voices as well as the hearts of gold”.
Winners in various categories included: Tarab Nafees, Nida Fatima, Muhammad Abdullah Khan, Sani, Sakina Haider, Ali Abbas, Mujtaba Mehdi, Rejjah Zabir, Khillat Zehra, Natasha Rasool, and Zuha Adnan.
Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2018