Whenever the youth of Pakistan is in discussion, the only thing which comes in mind is energy. They are filled with passion to do what they love and their liveliness sets them apart. And yes, this energy has to be channelized in the right direction for optimum output and the youth needs to be guided and motivated to stay on the right track. This was the theme of Blinck International Youth Day event held in association with U.S Consulate on August 12, 2011, marking the International Youth Day which falls on the same date.
It was an invitation exclusive event where more than six hundred enthusiastic individuals applied to be part of this event, and the top hundred were selected to experience what was considered to be a “youthful occasion”. These invitees were development enthusiasts, community-work activists, cultural performers, photographers, artists and journalists; young and aspiring minds belonging to a diverse background but with a single-minded aim, to do something for Pakistan.
The proceedings of the day were started off with the recitation of the Holy Quran, which was followed by a speech by Mr. William J. Martin, U.S Consul General in Karachi. His speech was acknowledged by the youth participants for he was excited to be amongst the most aspiring and promising of individuals. He shared his views about student exchange programs, and that they must be held regularly so students, particularly, the youth of both the countries can learn from each other’s ideas.
Later in the event, a panel discussion was held, presided by Sidra Iqbal where she had invited five of the most amazing Pakistanis who have taken Pakistan and its name to highest levels of admiration around the world. The esteemed panelists included Former Mayor Karachi, Mustafa Kamal; Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a renowned journalist and documentarian, the first Pakistani to win an Emmy Award and the first non-American to win the Livingston Award for Young Journalists; Palwasha Bashir, who is currently the highest ranked female badminton player of Pakistan; Farhad Karamally, an international management consultant and a social entrepreneur and Komal Rizvi, who made Pakistani music famous across the border with her voice and lyrical delight.
The theme of the day was “Idealism + Energy + Action = Youth” where the panelists discussed the secrets for their success, their most challenging moments in life and they also replied to questions put forward by the youth participants as well. It was an action-packed session, for the panelists, youth icons themselves, have achieved success at an early age, and therefore, they were attuned with the vibrancy which the youth participants carried with themselves.
The interactive nature of the event made the participants and the panelists speak their heart out in exchanging views, sharing ideas and expressing their thoughts about what needs to be done in Pakistan and how it can be achieved. Blinck has provided a platform for the youth to come together, learn from those who have created a difference and take inspiration and guidance from them to move forward towards their dreams and to bring a change in their country. Yes, this change will not come overnight and it would take hard work and a dedicated team effort to do so, but with these kinds of events and platforms, the youth’s energy will surely be channelized in the right direction.
Article Written By: Omar Iftikhar