BAHAWALPUR: A Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) was held at the Junior Model School in Model Town here on Thursday.

The festival was organised by the South Punjab Education Department, in collaboration with the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and the district government, and it also celebrated the libraries established under the ITA’s Pakistan Literacy Project (PLP).

An exhibition of children’s books, published by the ITA, was also organised at the festival.

ITA Chief Executive Officer Baela Raza Jamil said project of ‘living learning libraries’ (Bolte Huey Kutab Khanay) was helping the children connect with literature and increase their love for learning.

She said the ITA, in partnership with Room to Read and South Punjab’s School Education Department (SED), had established 24 modern libraries in government primary schools and in primary sections of 12 elementary schools each in the districts of Lahore and Bahawalpur. Each library, she added, had 1,200 books with more than 628 titles from 19 publishers. She expressed hope that the children’s festival would be a great way to welcome children back to school celebrations.

The chief guest, South Punjab education secretary Dr Ehtesham Anwar Mahar, and Deputy Commissioner (Bahawalpur) Irfan Ali Kathiya lauded the step of the Children’s Literary Festival (CLF) and expressed hope that the festival would go a long way to inculcate a habit of reading among the children along with their studiers.

Dr Ehtesham Anwar announced to hold such children’s festivals in the 11 districts of South Punjab with special emphasis on the character-building of children.

The inaugural ceremony featured the CLF young anthem, Seraiki dance performance and Jhoomar by schoolchildren. The day-long festival, including story telling of 28 adapted books, theatre, puppet shows, music, arts and crafts with a poster competition for students and their teachers that continued at six places of the venue throughout the day.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2021

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