So finally the hustle bustle is over! Islamabad Children’s literature Festival 2019 was successfully held on 19,20 January 2019, at F-9 Park, Aewan-e-Quaid auditorium now I am back to finding a new cause.
It takes someone with a higher purpose to conceive a successful idea, trust the right people to execute it, and stand fast when difficulties arise.
I was lucky to be working with a wonderful group of high-quality people — the real reason for its success.
We’d been planning Islamabad Children’s Literature Festival for 2.5 months now and to see the kids really enjoying the event and benefiting from it is worth all the time, money, and sleepless nights put into it.
About 6000 children and their parents packed into the 30 meters square Aewan e Quaid gallery each day at Islamabad Children’s Literature Festival, from morning till evening, enjoying games and building skills amongst the best literary and creative figures around Islamabad.
People ask me why the hassle? And why hasn’t anyone done something like this before? My reply is that it takes a team of completely selfless people to stick your head out for nobodies to take a pot-shot at — just for kids’ happiness. People like these are very rare — that’s why such events are rare.
My top Take-aways’ from this festival are:
- Believe in your cause — or else, no one will
- Pakistanis are very giving when it comes to underprivileged kids. Let’s hear it for my Big-hearted country folk!
- The teachers working in private schools are very talented, disciplined, and organized like the military. Bravo Ladies!
- The accomplished people in Pakistan are ready to offer their services for free to our society but wait for a leader with credibility to take up their cause.
- There are plenty of freeloaders, fakes, leeches, quacks, in the social development sector. It is a real battle to keep them at an arm’s length.
- The government is a real pain in the neck. The section officers in ministries are the worst of the lot.
- Although the maliciously jealous people would try overtime to turn a success story to a failure; if the cause is worth it, it all works out in the end.
- If the leader is organized, there will be plenty of volunteers to help you achieve your goal. It’s like the world conspires in your favor to help you reach your goal. I have nothing but love for the Kindle people and the fine group of young volunteers who helped me, help kids. A big shout out to my boys and girls!
- It’s not just the solid program of helping kids through games, lectures, theatre & puppeteering; marketing is equally important. So, spend on reaching out to potential visitors — there is no point otherwise.
- Be careful who you allow inside the venue, there are plenty of pickpockets, molesters, and just random bad guys just itching to turn your excellent environment into a disaster.
- You need known brand names to introduce yourself to the world. Known names could be National Book Foundation, Shifa Foundation Trust, Children’s literature festival, etc.
- Get lots of ladies to visit. The rule is no ladies — no show!
- Kids love gifts: give out free prizes to every kid that visits any stall — you’d not regret it
- Throw in an aerobatics show before days-end; people will wait for it the whole day.
- Never underestimate the importance of janitorial staff.
- Get well-educated and groomed ladies to run your stalls. That’s the kind of crowd you’d get.
- You can cover 1/6th of your budget through the sale of commercial stalls, even without sponsors
- Don’t let anyone hijack the proceedings, keep the ball rolling forward and ignore detractors — there are many.
- Pay off anyone that you feel is a threat to the outcome, long enough to keep them quiet. That includes the police.
- Reward your team and workers handsomely.
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