Hamara Karachi Festival

‘We intend to make Hamara Karachi an annual feature’

Posted on: April 6, 2007

 City Naib Nazim Nasreen Jalil, the first female Naib Nazim in the history of Karachi talks to Citypulse about the aims and objectives of the festival as how it is being coordinated and put together for the people of Karachi.

Who conceived the idea of organising ‘Hamara Karachi’ festival?

The City District Government Karachi (CDGK) wanted to celebrate the platinum jubilee of the KMC building. When the idea was discussed, it spread like wild fire in the entire city. Everyone we spoke to about the celebrations was so excited about it. Suggestions were pouring in from everywhere, so we told everybody to bring in their proposals and go ahead with their preparations. Also, we set up the Hamara Karachi Foundation, so that the management of funds and activities could be transparent.

Different individuals, forums, associations, artistes, government departments, private companies, heads of civil society organisations, renowned personalities belonging to art and culture besides high-ranked officials came forward to celebrate different programmes as part of festival. For instance, Bilal Maqsood came forward with an idea of musical concert for those who could not afford to pay the huge tickets of concerts held at five star hotels or private clubs. Similarly, Rahim Shah, Najam Shiraz and other popular stars were contacted, and with their own willingness and support of other companies as many as eight concerts were held in the under-privileged areas of the city.

While maintaining the spirit of Karachi, no one has been left out and hence handicapped people are also involved in the celebrations with the same enthusiasm. A grand entertainment show for special children was held at Hill Park. The CDGK is holding two functions of its own as part of the festival. These are Family Festival at Safari Park and a Shopper’s Festival at Kashmir Road. The UC’s Towns are also holding programmes on their own in their respective jurisdiction. I must say every quarter started coming up with ideas of holding different programmes as part of the festivities.

Thus, a small celebration became a grand festival. Even today, we are getting fresh offers at all level for adding more programmes to the festival. Everybody irrespective of his class and creed wants to be part of the fair and contribute his bit. The budget is running in millions and different multi-nationals, banks, institutions, individuals, Sindh Government, the Governor and the Chief Minister are facilitating the CDGK in making the festival a success.

What is the objective of the festival?

The objective of celebrations is to promote peace and harmony amongst citizens of different religions, sects and multi-lingual population to surface cultural and inherited assets, to highlight the historical and cultural identity of Karachi, to renovate historical places of metropolis and make every citizen realise that he owns Karachi. Hamara Karachi is meant for the people of metropolis while reflecting a soft image of Karachi.

How many events are planned?

Initially, some 54 events were planned during 13-day event. But now, the number is increasing day-by-day. The actual number of events can only be counted after the festival is over.

Will this festival be made a permanent annual feature?

Inshallah, by the grace of God and with the help of Karachiites, we will make it a permanent feature. Since it is a tremendous success so far, we look forward to organise it every year. The festival has also proved to provide good opportunities to Karachiites to relax from ‘frets and fevers’ of the busy life and enjoy what Karachi is known for – the lights and delights.

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