Local Happenings

No-Smoking Poster Competition initiated in selected Karachi schools

Pfizer, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world with a huge presence in Pakistan, has initiated a poster competition among select schools in Karachi. The competition, which formally kicked off today, is a part of the company’s public awareness campaign against smoking and a contributor in Pfizer’s drive to continue working on social responsibility projects. The main objective of the competition is to create awareness amongst the school-going children especially teenagers, about the hazards of smoking and to involve young souls to step ahead with a vision of a smoke free world; hence, “A World without Smoking” is the chosen theme of the poster competition.

The role art can play in addressing social ills can not be undermined and therefore, respected critic and author of many books on Pakistani art and an artist herself, Marjorie Husain is heading this project. While renowned personalities in the field of art like Noor-jehan Bilgrami, Nahid Raza, and Tapu Javeri, will be judging the entries submitted by the participating schools.

Expressing her views on the poster competition, Mrs. Marjorie Husain said, “In an effort to create civic awareness, a sense of being part of a contributing society, our hopes are directed towards young people. In numerous areas work is to be done and it is the school children who are the hopes of the future. In this context we plan to evolve a number of projects highlighting the ways and aspects of a healthier world for all.”

Students from different schools including The City School-PAF Chapter, CAS School, St Joseph’s Convent School, and The Citizen’s Foundation – North Karachi have been invited to participate in the anti-smoking poster competition. The age groups for the competition are divided into three, 12-14 years, 15-17 years and 18-19 years of age. A selection of 15 entries from each school, comprising of all age groups will become a part of an Art Exhibition. Pfizer Pakistan also intends to hand out gold medals to the three prize winning entries, one from each category of age group. The Art Exhibition, which is the essence of this entire poster competition, is scheduled towards the end of March, 2010.

In the final meeting with schools, Mrs. Marjorie Husain, concluded with the following words, “This is a beginning. Through art and color and the forceful exuberance of the youth of the country, we believe
lessons can be learned.”

Every year in Pakistan, around 0.1 million people die of complications caused by tobacco smoking. According to estimates of Pakistan Medical Society a total of 1.8 million youth between 10 to 24 years of age are at high risk of getting cancer and other diseases from smoking.

Shared by: Mr. Ahmer Ashraf, Head of Public Affairs and Policy Division, Pfizer Pakistan. He can be reached at: ahmer.ashraf@pfizer.com

Pakistan to promote halal brand power

The Halal Development Project (HDP) CEO Asad Sajjad, has been invited by ICRIC – Islamic Chamber Research and Information Center of OIC and Iran Chamber of Commerce, to speak at the International Halal Conference in Tehran from 2 to 5 March, 2010.

Asad will give his presentation on “The Power of Halal Branding”. According to a spokesman, Halal Development Project recently signed an MoU with PNAC (Pakistan National Accreditation Council) Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan, to promote the Halal Trade and Industry in Pakistan and to facilitate Pakistani companies
to get their products and services as Halal certified.

Asad Sajjad will also be representing PNAC in the Iran Halal conference, to invite international certification agencies, testing laboratories and accreditation bodies to get accreditation from PNAC, as being MRA signatory, PNAC accreditation is recognized and accepted throughout the world. It may be mentioned that Asad, who also was a member of the Halal trade delegation to Malaysia led by Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi to attend the D-8 countries meeting in Kuala Lumpur in November 2009.

Qureshi held important discussion with Malaysian counterparts for increasing cooperation between Pakistan and Malaysia for development in Halal industrial and trade sectors. Asad presented some useful suggestions in this regard specially regarding creation of Halal Food Parks and export zones in Pakistan that will not only bring FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in Pakistan but also help generate
thousands of new job opportunities.

Shared by: M. Akbar Durrani, Manager, Standing Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Federation House, Main Clifton, Karachi.

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