Never in my life have I been so excited! Today, I write on a happening extraordinaire. Not too long ago, Talha Masood, a 24 year old son of Balochistan, an unsung hero, benevolently chose to discuss with me a plan his organization, Organization for Development of Youth (ODY), had been planning. I could see the excitement in his eyes and feel the fervor and zeal in his words. The man meant business. Come what may!
The idea was to hold a conference for the youth of Balochistan. A much needed platform for the young, bright Balochistan to shine. Basic premise of the conference was to provide a conducive environment to a cross section of youth of Balochistan, for them to vent out their frustrations and feeling of deprivation. While Talha expressed on many facets of life in Balochistan, the anxiety, the misconceptions, he continuously presented himself as a big thinker. Seldom did his thought process limit itself to Balochistan only. It was more of how he sees Pakistan as a whole. I am no judge, neither do I think anyone should be, but from what I gathered during my communication with Talha, Pakistan may just have a great future as long as we have a few Talha Masood(s) around.I will be very honest and share that Talha’s bombardment of ideas, possibilities, things-to-do, and a lot more, often perplexed me on the project materializing when I thought of financial limitations primarily. I do remember praying silently that he, along with his team, be successful in this endeavor as it will not only push the team to go for much bigger initiatives, but more importantly, prove to be success and hope for the masses. The Dream Team, included Jawad Ahmed Khan, Qudrat Shah, Jahangir Bazai, Zayed Khan, Masood Rehman, Sadat Baloch and Usman Khan. I am not describing these core team members individually as the power and zeal reflected as a team speaks loud and clear about every single member.
So began the preps and the uphill task of finding sponsors. The event was sponsored by American Consulate General-Karachi, Strengthening Participatory Organizations (SPO) and Anti Narcotics Force (ANF). Without mentioning any names, I am positive that those who declined sponsorship must regret not being a part of history in the making. The conference’s slogan was “Mera Paigham Muhabbat hai” (My Message is Love) and hence, after untiring efforts of the ODY Team, the conference was held on 7th and 8th day of June, 2012 at Quetta Serena.
Conference was attended by 250 participants with an almost equal participation of males and females as well as urban and rural. The two day conference envisaged life, hope, zeal, camaraderie, where various historic and contemporary experiences, sagas were shared followed by a discussion on each with full participation. The discussion circled around what one can get out of the greatest stories ever told and how each one can add to his or her life in personal capacity and how it can have a consummated effect at large at a communal level.
Indeed an event which must go down in history as it may well prove to be the much needed catalyst. The title of this composition is based on a comment made by Ms. Beena Sarwar, a journalist, an artist, a documentary film-maker, a human rights activist and I am positive I have missed something out. Heartfelt gratitude to her for her kind words and support in spreading the word about this event. Ayesha Tammy Haq, a renowned broadcast journalist and a corporate lawyer must also be thanked for her sharing the highlights and videos of this event. My brother, Amin ur Rahman, a Public Relations Manager by profession, and a few other friends also shared the excitement and shared the details of the even on social media for which I am grateful to each one of them.
On a personal level, I am seriously disappointed on not being able to take an active part in the conference but I do look forward to many such events by ODY Team as they continue their journey and break all barriers and rise like shining stars.
On a very serious note, I strongly suggest our media to have their priorities straight. Events described herein should be the focus instead of sensational reporting which may not add any value whatsoever but to the ratings. This is Pakistan, a progressive Pakistan which needs to be highlighted. These are people, the stars of my country which need to be celebrated. Despite various requests to many personalities (not naming any) associated with the field of journalism and media, not a single one paid heed to this event which should have been the highlight of every channel and headlines of every newspaper after successful finale. However, I express gratitude to PTV Bolan for conducting interviews of the organizers and broadcasting the same after the event. Geo, Khyber and Sabzbaat were present during the event. However, by no means justice was done with regards to coverage. These are my personal observations and do not reflect on the sentiments of ODY which may be different.
View ODY-QYC detailed report to explore how each minute during the conference was utilized every so productively and how the winds of change started to blow from all directions. Success of this event can be witnessed by a few testimonials in this video (courtesy Qaiser Roonjha).
ODY, let this be a humble beginning of great successes as you take charge and change the future. All prayers and wishes are with you.
For those who would like to follow, support and be a part of such wonderful efforts: