LAHORE: Aimed at promoting tolerance, interfaith harmony and a sense of equal citizenship among the youth, a project titled as ‘Transforming Communities for Peaceful Co-existence’ was launched on Thursday at the Punjab Institute of Language Art and Culture, Gaddafi Stadium.
The project is an initiation of Bargad Organisation for Youth Development, in collaboration with the Youth Affairs Department and PILAC.
The project will run from August 01 till March 31 2018. It aims at engaging the youth for social inclusion and advocacy for reforms. It also hopes to train participants on better implementation of laws and policies in the province through a series of activities in Lahore and Multan districts.
Bargad Executive Director Shiba Shaheen said the project involved four training workshops, enabling the youth to carry out a message of religious harmony and tolerance through various social action plans.
She said under the project, the organisation plans to celebrate multi religious festivals.
“We will also be working on the development of a legislative draft for minority-friendly text books, along with mass media campaigns and seminars in universities,” Shiba said.
She said through this project, they hope to achieve two main targets, which were gradual reduction of hate speech and its replacement with a positive narrative of intra and interfaith harmony and social cohesion in society.
“Secondly, we aim to take social activists onboard to propagate our message forward and advocate reforms,” she said.
Speaking as the chief guest, Minister for Education Rana Mashood said the Punjab Text Book Board would work to ensure it continues to promote inclusivity and tolerance.
Department of Youth Affairs, Sports, Archeology and Tourism secretary said the youngsters of Punjab were an important asset and their participation was vital for the project’s success.
Member National Assembly Rumeena Khalid, who is also part of the 12-member steering committee of the project, said such initiatives are the need of the hour to promote harmony.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2017.
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