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Kids participate in NPC’s online Qirat, Naat contest

Islamabad : Hundreds of children of working journalists from the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad took part in the online ‘Qirat’ and ‘Naat’ competition, organized by the National Press Club (NPC) Islamabad on the 27th night of the blessed month of Ramazan.

The competition, perhaps the first of its kind not only in Pakistan but in the entire world for journalists’ kids, was part of the NPC’s annual mega event ‘Ramazan Family Festival’.

Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) and Overseas Pakistanis Global Foundation (OPGF) collaborated with the NPC to hold the event.

The event was earlier scheduled to take place at the NPC lawn but owing to the ongoing COVID-19 onslaught, it was decided to hold it on Zoom.

Among others, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib renowned Quranic reciter Qari Syed Sadaqat Ali and prominent ‘Naat Khawan’ Noor Mohammad Jaral attended the programme.

Speaking on the occasion, Farrukh Habib hailed the NPC for holding such a grand online programme.

“I feel honoured to become part of this auspicious programme.

The NPC’s efforts to engage kids in noble deeds in such a large number during the shutdown period are highly commendable,” added the minister, who also recited a Naat on the occasion.

Qari Syed Sadaqat Ali recited a few verses from the Holy Quran, while the United States-based Noor Mohammad recited a ‘Naat’, adding beauty to the programme.

Former NPC President Afzal Butt, in his welcome remarks, thanked OPGF Chairman Mehar Zaheer Akhtar, Women Chapter Chairman Tahira Din, New York Chapter President Shakeel Sheikh and General Secretary Abdul Rauf for cooperating to hold the programme.

Butt, who is also former President of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), lauded NPC President Shakeel Anjam and Secretary Anwar Raza, and RIUJ President Aamir Sajjad Syed and Acting General Secretary Tariq Ali Virk for working diligently over the past two weeks to make the event a real success.

Meanwhile, the NPC president said hundreds of boys and girls aged between 4-16 years participated in the competition.

He said the names of winners would be announced after the completion of the competition as it would continue on 28th night of Ramazan to accommodate the remaining registered children.

He said the winner would pocket a cash prize of Rs15,000, the runner-up Rs 10,000, and the third position-holder Rs5,000. “Each participant is also being given Rs1,000 as ‘Eidi’.

We’ve are transferring ‘Eidi’ to the Easypaisa accounts of participating kids’ parents,” he added.

According to Shakeel, the credit to hold the contest on Zoom went to Afzal Butt.

“We must acknowledge that it was he, who actually floated the idea.

“Initially, it was looking a herculean task but with Afzal Butt and Tariq Chaudhry’s (another former NPC president) guidance and encouragement we managed to hold it quite successfully,” he added.

Anwar Raza on the occasion informed that there had been several brainstorming sessions for holding the competition in a befitting manner.

“We even held two back-to-back long-duration Zoom meetings wherein seasoned journalists chipped in to give their suggestions,” he said.

“We really appreciate the NPC management for bringing over such a huge number of attendees to the Zoom ‘Qirat’ and ‘Naat’ competition.