Wednesday, May 30, 2012

SSUET establishes Dr Nabi Bux Baluch Chair

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

Glowing tributes were paid to noted scholar, educationist and researcher, Dr Nabi Bux Balcuh amidst an announcement for the establishment of Dr Nabi Bux Baluch Chair at Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, and dedication of corners in the libraries of universities and colleges of Sindh.

The announcement for establishment of Chair after the name of Dr Baluch was made by Engr Z A Nizami, Chancellor SSUET, while the Sindh Senior Minister for Education, Pir Mazhar-ul-Huq, announced the decision to dedicate the corners in his name in the libraries of various universities and colleges of the province. 

The two important announcements were made at a Literary Reference in memory of Late Dr Nabi Bux Baluch held at Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology, in collaboration with Academy of Letters, and it was largely attended by educationists, scholars, researchers and noted writers. 

Dr Nabi Bux Baluch, a historian, researcher, writer and educationist, wrote over 150 books and his works included translations, compilations and writings in Sindhi, Persian, Arabic and English.

Besides Pir Mazharul Huq, who was chief guest on the occasion and Chancellor Z.A. Nizami, who presided over, the Reference was addressed, among others, by noted scholar and writer Dr Awaz Ali Shauq. 

In his speech on the occasion Pir Mazharul Huq said that Late Dr Baluch was although from Sindh, but he was not merely a Sindh writer but an internationally recognized scholar and educational expert who was imbibed with the Aligarh spirit. 

He recalled that Dr Nabi Bux Baluch wanted 7 percent of National GDP to be spent on education which presently is only 1.2 percent. Referring to a suggestion from Agha Noor Mohammed Pathan, Resident Director Academy of Letters for opening of one-room libraries after the name of Dr Nabi Bux Baluch at tehsil level in Sindh, Pir Mazhar said that there is no problem in opening such libraries, but what was required is to create an eagerness of book reading among students.

He disclosed that the Sindh Education department has prepared a lists of modern books to be purchased for these libraries and it is for the third consecutive year that tendering process for procurement of such books has been undertaken. 

In his Presidential remarks, Chancellor SSUET Z.A. Nizami said that Dr Nabi Bux Baluch had very deep association with Sir Syed University and he remained on its Board of Governors till his last. 

He said his decisions in the meetings of Board of Governors proved land mark decisions. Chancellor Nizami said that Dr Baluch had acquired his education from Aligarh and he used to follow Aligarh Spirit and Concept. 

He disclosed that SSUET has collected most valuable material about the life and achievements of Dr Baluch and will publilsh the same in the form of a book. 

He declared that SSUET will have a chair in the name of Dr Baluch in recognition to his services for the cause of education. In his address Dr Nawaz Ali Shauq said he learnt a lot from two personalities Dr Nabi Bux Baluch and Pir Hasamuddin Rashdi and this helped him in determining his direction of practical life. 

He said that Dr Baluch’s works are glorious and he lived an exemplary life without leaving anything which one would consider imperative for a nation to reckon with.

Avanti set to rock the stage in Karachi

Jumbo Editorial Team

Avanti, a Grand Comedy Musical Theater Play, made its debut in Karachi at the Arts Council of Pakistan. It’s scheduled to last a month.

The story of the play revolves around Avanti, a place where wandering souls find contentment. Adapted from the a Brazilian and Bollywood screenplay Avanti is a wonderful mix of music, dance, drama, tragedy and comedy. 

It’s one of the rare plays where all genres have been intertwined into one theater play. Avanti reminds many of Madhuri Dixit's comeback movie, Aaja Nachle? The one with Konkona Sen Sharma and Kunal Kapoor? Aaja Nachle bombed at the box office. Big time. 

Yet a group of theatre lovers took the story, tweaked it and put it on stage in the form of Avanti, The Grand Musical. After being successfully staged in Islamabad and Lahore, Javed Saeedi, the director, with Entertainment Xtra has brought Avanti to the city of lights. 

With glittering sets, costumes and even more colorful characters Avanti is a rollercoaster ride of entertainment. It’s believed to be the most interactive theater play that audience has come across Pakistan for a long time.

It’s a comic presentation of the theme and is teeming with the most modern of dances with the dancers performing roll-overs and cartwheels and prancing across the stage, sometimes in a hysterical way, so much like the group dances one sees in Bollywood movies these days, totally unrelated to the theme and a departure from the artistic movements one would normally associate with dance. 

These dances are there it seems just to maintain a lively tempo. Avanti had a profusion of such dances, dances which are a test of one’s acrobatic capabilities. 

It is supposed to be a musical comedy comprising Bollywood tracks. It is based on a Brazilian movie and one from Bollywood. The Bollywood character is so very evident from the acrobatic dance numbers and the way the dancers prance across the stage like foals. 

It is the story of a lady who is fighting to save the place she’s been brought up in, its musical and showbiz character, its once liberal nature. It is the story of the resistance she faces and sometimes the heartily comic cooperation she is confronted with by overly artistically inclined elements.

What makes the performance unusually interesting is the amalgam of all three languages, English, Urdu, and Punjabi, and the way it is teeming with humorous punchlines.

The performances unfolded the teeming musical talent around. With the rise in theatrical activities, musicals have made their place amongst the rest. There might have been some misgivings about this genre working in Pakistan, but the response Chicago, Bombay Dreams, Karachi - The Musical got, changed mindsets. 

With Avanti, the cast and crew expect to draw in a wider audience as the script is bilingual; incorporating Bollywood music just broadens the horizon further. For those who haven't watched Aaja Nachle, Avanti is about a girl (Khwahish) who loves to dance but is looked down upon by society. She leaves her town for good but has to return when her dance teacher requests her to come back and pursue her dreams. 

It is then she returns and tries to persuade the townsfolk to accept this medium of art. The cast includes Zarmeena Yusuf as the lead as well as Rana Majid, Ammar Ahmed, Mariam Ansari, Saqib Sumeer, Usman Mazhar. The choreographers are Veera and Talal Rehman. For promotion of the play, the cast and crew held flash mobs around the city. 

With a grand opening, 15 dance performances and a tried and tested script, it's almost a given that Avanti is most likely to rock the stage in Karachi.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Karachi Transport Improvement Project gets into motion

Jumbo Editorial Team 

The various stakeholders, that included urban development experts, government officials and representatives of an international donor agency, have agreed to accelerate efforts for the Karachi Transport Improvement Project, which includes Karachi circular railways and bus rapid transit (BRT) system, as approaching challenges of growing population and traffic congestion can make the execution of the crucial project more difficult.

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), with the collaboration of with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), organized a seminar on ‘Karachi Transportation Improvement Project’ on May 24. 

They pledged to cooperate on behalf of their respective organisation to make the project a success. 

 In his presentation, Minoru Shibuya, leader of the JICA study team that carried out a detailed survey of Karachi transportation system within two years, highlighted future challenges and called for the immediate planning to meet them.

“Currently Karachi accommodates over 18 million people, but by 2035 its population is likely to reach 31.6 million that is close to that of Tokyo. Consistent growth in population will definitely compound commuting and traffic problems. In this scenario, it’s time to find out solutions to transport problems in the city,” he remarked. 

He suggested the BRT system for Karachi considering the need and traffic challenges in the city that promised a ‘high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast comfortable and cost-effective mobility.

He was of the opion that the system could deliver its best through the provision of segregated right-of-way infrastructure, rapid and frequent operations and excellence in marketing and customer service. 

He also cited the successful operation of the system in Istanbul, Beijing, Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok, New Delhi, Jakarta and Lima for as long as eight years. Abdul Rasheed Mughal, Director General of the KMC’s Karachi Mass Transport Cell (KMTC), termed the JICA study a ‘key document’ and a ‘crucial input’ for designing urban transport that catered to the population needs and contributed to the city’s economic development. 

“The population growth of Karachi has jumped manifold over the past two decades and unfortunately the transport facilitation process remained below the required level. The absence of an effective public transport system has put commuters in challenging complication and as a result today around 56 per cent of the city’s population here is compelled to travel by inadequate and poorly maintained transport,” he observed.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Effective measures increase revenue of Railways' Karachi Division

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

Despite ongoing resource constraints, Pakistan Railway Karachi Division, succeeded in making a leap forward with an increase in its revenue income during the months of March and April.  

The Division earned a revenue income of Rs 9 million per day in passenger sector only during these two months, an increase of Rs 2 million per day as compared to revenue generated during January 2012.

According to Divisional Superintendent Railway, Anzer Ismail Rizvi, Karachi Division earned a revenue income of Rs 550 million during the two months under review.

"The revenue increase was achieved mainly because of strict vigilance and monitoring against ticket less traveling,” the DS Railway stated. He said that black marketing of tickets has also been effectively controlled with passengers being facilitated in reservation of seats in various upcountry bound trains.  

He said effective measures were also taken to ensure that passenger could board a train without valid traveling document at entry points of three major stations of Karachi, Cantonment and Hyderabad Railway stations.

Anzer Rizvi pointed out that speed restrictions at various points have been made normal by about 40 kilometers between Karachi and Tando Adam as a result of which the punctuality of trains have improved and now the trains were running at normal speed of maximum 105.

He said that an additional train service has been started between Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas, restoring a previously closed service. This service was closed after railway sources started depleting.

The restoration of service has greatly facilitated the commuters between Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas. Meanwhile the Divisional authorities also restored the Lower AC coach service between Karachi and Sukkur on alternate day for which power generating unit was arranged through local resources.

The DS Railway informed that a schedule of repair of 28 locomotives out of 111 allotted to Karachi Railway Division has been prepared whereby four locomotives will be repaired and brought on track every month from January 2013.

However, he said it will depend on arrival of spare parts either imported or made available locally. To a question, he said, that freight trains, which are a main source of revenue, have again been made operative with an average one train per day with containerized goods for Premnagar dry port and Furnace oil for Lal Pir Power station. He said that efforts were underway to run two freight trains daily from Karachi within a fortnight. 

Engineering & IT Fair 2012 at Aligarh Institute of Technology unveils innovative projects

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The Chancellor of the Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Engr Z A Nizami, has observed that technical education provides a boost to the economic advancement and plays a significant role in the national human resource development creating skilled manpower, enhancing industrial productivity and improving the quality of life in general.

He was speaking as chief guest at the 6th Engineering & IT Fair 2012 organized by the Aligarh Institute of Technology (AIT) at their campus in Karachi. 

Appreciating the exhibits on display, Chancellor Nizami highly complimented the efforts of the students who, he reckoned, are producing best results in their respective fields of studies and applying practical use of their knowledge in a true sense. 

Speaking on the occasion, Convener AIT, and Vice-President of the Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys' Association (AMUOBA), Engr. Muhammad Adil Usman, called upon the students to continuously keep themselves updated with latest information and knowledge in the area of learning to help compete in the market and industry. 

The Engineering & IT Fair is an annual event organized by AIT and its basic purpose is to provide Students of BS (Compter Science) and students of diploma programme a platform to showcase their talents. 

Engr Adil Usman described the projects on display as innovative and motivational and believed that these would enhance the employability skill of the students. He announced that the AIT will soon be introducing a new technology - Bio-informative technology. 

The 6th Engineering & IT Fair attracted a very large number of visitors and proved to be a commendable venture of projects on displa, highlighting the interplay of academics, business and technology. Around more than 300 projects were on display at the fair. 

Guests from various universities, institutes and technocrats from industries also visited the fair to act as judges for the competition. 

Later prizes were distributed among the top three winners in seven categories. Chancellor Z A Nizami gaveaway the prizes to the students of Computer Science and Electronic departments. The projects Shopping Cart System of Computer Science department and Digital Clock by using seven segment display of Electronic department secured first prizes in the competition. 

 I A Usmani, and Convenor AIT, Muhammad Adil Usman, also presented prizes to the winning students.

PAS Awards recognize advertising professionals

Jumbo Editorial Team

 The top performing advertising professionals were recognized at the second Pakistan Advertisers’ Society (PAS) Awards, at the Karachi Expo Centre on May 18. The PAS is a representative body of the leading advertisers in Pakistan.

Qamar Abbas, Exective Director of the PAS, believed that the awards have grown into a full-fledged institution that leading advertising agencies look forward to because they reward creativity in advertising. 

He substantiated his claim by diusclosing that the number of entries increased by approximately 30 per cent this year. 

He revealed that 103 entries were received last year when the PAS Awards were instituted while the total entries for this year’s awards were 133, reflecting a considerable increase. 

Fuad Chundrigar, Chairman PAS, remarked that the society has become a platform for conversations between advertising professionals, with the awards acknowledging the creativity that went into making a brand a success.

The awards were presented to the winners by celebrities which included Javed Sheikh, Behroze Sabzwari, Maheen Khan, Tapu Javeri, Nabila and Mathira, as well as advertising professionals and media professionals. 

The agency with the highest number of wins this year was Lowe and Rauf which bagged six awards for several products, including Knorr Noodles, Wall’s Paddle Pop, Sunlight Washing Powder and Vim; the agency also won the Campaign of the Year Award for Vim, presented by Hameed Haroon, CEO, Dawn Media Group. 

Adcom won four awards including campaigns for the British Council, Telenor Easy Paisa, and Telenor (khamoshi ka boycott) followed by JWT with three awards for Sunsilk, Gluco and Nokia. 

Other agencies that were honoured with awards included Adetude, BE DDB, Brandstirr, Head Lion, Interflow Communications, Kontent Head, Walter and Creative Unit, which won the Best Media Award for The Dawn Media Group’s Jinnah 2011 Campaign. 

The company with the highest number of awards was Unilever Pakistan, which clinched a total of seven awards. 

The ceremony, compered by former advertising and marketing professional Fasi Zaka, included musical performances and skits by Joshinder Chaggar, the Banana Boys and Quadrum but the standout performance came from the pop star Alamgir along with Fuzon.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Coke Studio 5 dazzles

Jumbo Editorial Team

Coke Studio’s journey of musical discoveries has continued into its fifth season this year with their episode which was aired on May 13. Coke Studio has been playing a lead the role in promoting music in Pakistan by providing the most anticipated collection of music each season.

‘Paisay Da Nasha’ was written and arranged by Bohemia and had not been released before it was recorded at Coke Studio. 

Bohemia writes about the way people think in this world as they are intoxicated by the idea of money and in love with the idea of intoxication. He was inspired to write this song because of the people he lost in his life. In the chorus of the song, Bohemia makes a strong point that people don’t recognise the value of others until they are dead and its too late. 

‘Kamlee’ is a Sufi kalaam written by the renowned 17th century Punjabi poet, Bulleh Shah. The kalaam talks of the importance of knowing and understanding yourself, your conscience, strengths and weaknesses. 

The song explores the idea of humanity getting seeped in a world of materialism and artificiality, with little understanding of the real truth. Kiani chose this song as she wanted to challenge herself with a different and more serious style of music that she had never done before.

‘Charkha Nolakha’ is a qawwali popularised by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and performed by ‘Qayaas’ in collaboration with Atif Aslam. 

‘Larsha Pekhawar Ta’ is a Pashto folk song having originated from Afghanistan. It is a love song sung from the point of view of a girl who is telling her beloved to come to Peshawar and bring her a black kameez and three or four fresh flowers. 

The song represents Pashto culture and instils a sense of patriotism and pride for Pashto language and musical traditions by Pathan communities in Pakistan and around the world. ‘Tum Kaho’ is one of the band’s original songs, and has not been released yet. 

The music was composed and arranged by ‘SYMT’ guitarist Hasan Omer who worked out the structure and gave it to lead singer Haroon Shahid to compose the melody and lyrics. Shahid says ‘Tum Kaho’ represents the initial feelings of attraction and interest for someone. The lyrics were inspired by the idea of starting a romantic relationship with a person by confessing their interest for her.

Indus Valley’s students light stage with Khamosh Kalaam

Jumbo Editorial Team

Khamosh Kalam, a production of Laaltain, the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture Performing Arts Society, who won the blue ribbon at the Youth Theatre Festival organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Government of Sindh, with the collaboration of the Arts Council of Pakistan in 2011, stole limelight in the recent two-day event titled Thrust-A Night of Performing Arts at the Arts Council in Karachi.

With the film industry in crisis and the television obssessed with news and current affairs, it was heartening to find theatre providing another source of entertainment, and extra heartening was the fact that it were the young people meeting the challenge.  

Usman Riaz, dynamic young musician and one of 20 individuals selected as Ted Fellows for Ted Global 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland, opened the event with some of his finest instrumentals, with Alfred D'Mellolent on percussions. 

The overwhelming performance set the mood for the main event of the evening, Khamosh Kalaam, a thought-provoking pantomime that emphasized the responsibility of an artiste to complete any creative process that he undertakes, as the characters he creates are alive and yearn for the perfect ending. 

At a time when adaptations are the norm within theatre, it was overwhelming to see Laltain experiment with an original script. Written and directed by Zehra Nawab and Syed Arsal, the main idea of the act was originally conceived by Arsal
The curtain rose on a writer busy writing his stories and as he writes each new scene and the character, the stories begin to manifest on stage. 

Each act brought a new set of characters battling for their existence but the writer brings them to an end without second thought. The act thrives on impressive performances and inclusion of some of the finest Eastern melodies, despite not having any dialogues. 

Ustad Zakir Hussain and Adnan Sami Khan's music, nicely edited by Syed Arsal himself, resonated well with the audience and maintained the flow of the story. 

Happy with the efforts of his cast and team, Syed Arsal attributed the success of the play to director Zehra Nawab and the cast, namely Maheen Rashid, Shahmir Khan, Zahra Ilyas, Saad Pirzada, Wasim Shekhani and Sakina Lotai. 

 “Performing a role without the support of dialogues was indeed a difficult task for our actors as they have to bring their characters alive with their expressions, footwork and intelligent use of the stage. Even during rehearsal it was good to see a few taking liberty to improvise and bring variation to the character to add to its feel and impact,” Arsal said.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Comeback concert of Alamgir, Benjamin Sisters bring tears of joy

Jumbo Editorial Team

Alamgir who used one of the most popular singers of the country not too long ago had disappeared from the scene for a while. As did the famed Benjamin sisters, who were household names in the 1980s.

Suffering from kidney disease, Alamgir has been on dialysis since 2008 which he has to undergo thrice a week. He is on a waiting list in the U.S. for a kidney donation expected to come through in the next two years. 

The legendary singer, however, didn't let his ill-health come in the way of his performance for the sake of his ardent fans who wanted him to sing more and pray for his fast recovery and long and healthy life. 

Alamgir’s recent comeback concert in Karachi also became memorable for the fact that it also brought back on stage the Benjamin sisters after so many years and they enthralled the audience once more.

The concert lived upto the billing with the large pool of people thouroghly enjoying the entertainment of the highest quality. They were excited and felt lucky to being able to witness the living legend in their midst and for many, listening to Alamgir 'live' was the fulfillment of a cherished dream. 

A smartly constructed stage offered spectacular sight with lights, gigantic screens, speakers and all the equipment vital to providing the perfect aural experience. Courtesy the exorbitant level of sound, the music roared through the streets far and wide. 

by the Maria Wasti, the show started off earlier than anticipated when Alamgir walked on stage, clad in a black kurta over a pair of jeans, a muffler draped over his shoulders and his trade mark 1000 watt smile amongst deafening applause, screams and a standing ovation.

Acknowledging the audience for their overwhelming reception and without further ado he belted out a Spanish song that finally dissolved into his hit tune, 'Albela Rahi', setting the evening off to a great start. Alamgir followed up with the phenomenal 'Dekha Na Tha' followed by 'Hum Chalay Tu Hamaray' and 'Waada Karo Sajna' and transported the audience to the '80s when Alamgir's playback singing was all the rage. 

The surprise package of the evening came when the Benjamin Sisters were invited to perform with Alamgir. 

As the audience was fully tuned into the vibe of the evening, the singers found it apt to include 'Khayal Rukna', a national song, taking the audience by storm with everyone singing along, and getting swept away by patriotic emotions. 

The Benjamin Sisters performed a poignant collection of their vintage hits, which they had sung for PTV's Silver Jubilee: 'Laila O Laila’, ‘Manu Rab Di Saun’, 'Gari Ko Chalana Babu' and an improvised version of 'Woh Jo Sapno Jaisa Hai', originally composed by Alamgir himself while composer Karam Allahditta introduced a few changes for this show. 

There couldn't have been more befitting songs than 'Tum Meri Zindagi Ho' and 'Mujhay Dil Se Na Bholana' to end the show on an emotional note.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Ho Yaqeen brings hope and positivity to Pakistan

Jumbo Editorial Team

Emmy and Oscar award-winning Pakistani documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, having become a legend in her own lifetime, has collaborated with Coca Cola for her next six-part documentary venture Ho Yaqeen.

With her vision of bringing a change in Pakistan she is working on her latest documentary series entitled Ho Yaqeen, for which her company SOC Films has done partnership with famed soft drink company, Coca-Cola. 

Ho Yaqeen is a six parts documentaries series which highlights the efforts of Pakistan’s real heroes who are striving to make a better Pakistan. These documentaries will be broadcastacross 16 TV channels in six months simultaneously. 

For screening the first part of the Ho Yaqeen documentaries, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy organized an event in her hometown, Karachi, where she revealed the details of the project. The screening event was attended by many celebrities which included a large number of singers, artists, fashion designers.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has built a reputation of taking on unique subjects with her documentaries. 

Her latest documentary series which captures her voyage to find and retell the stories of those lesser-known visionaries who are trying to bring a change in Pakistan. 

“The documentary series is about those people who fight against all odds and bring a positive change in society. It’s all about trying to make a difference in the lives of people despite facing various odds in life. Ho Yaqeen is about six lives. There are six documentaries about people belonging to six different cities of Pakistan, from Karachi to Muzaffarabad,” the Oscar winner disclosed. 

Ho Yaqeen’s first part captures a woman named Sabina Khatri, whose educational institute for residents of Karachi’s Lyari area called Kiran School, laid a foundation for education in the area. Within a span of five years, she had transformed 90 young lives. 

“Every child that I see on the streets of Lyari is practically like my own child. Pakistan has so much talent that if you turn a stone, you will find a diamond hidden in a rock, basically a child who is smart and intelligent, but lacks the support to turn him or her life around. All we can do is to bring them in our hearts and homes and give them a chance,” Sabina Khatri observed. 

 “I really couldn’t have done this without the support of my children. And of course, my husband who has been my supportive, yet silent guardian angel,” she added. 

By the end of the screening, the entire ambiance had turned into one of positivity and patriotism. There was hardly a dull moment throughout the documentary and the audience remained glued to it from start to end.

Monday, May 14, 2012

New GM commits to improve services of Pakistan Railways big time

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi

The newly appointed General Manager Pakistan Railways, Junaid Qureshi, has stated that railway’s 60 percent problems can be resolved by overcoming mismanagement while the remaining 40 percent relate to financial implications.  

He made the observation while talking to media after chairing meetings with Divisional officers and office-bearers of various workers’ unions in the office of Divisional Superintendent Railways in Karachi on May 14.

Besides some Principal Officers from Railway Headquarters in Lahore, who accompanied the General Manager during his maiden visit to Karachi, the meeting was also attended by Divisional Superintendent Anzar Ismail Rizvi.

Junaid Qureshi, who was appointed as the Pakistan Railways General Manager (Operations) a few days ago, had earlier served as PRACS, a subsidiary of the Railways as Managing Director. He has urged the officials of Pakistan Railways to spare no effort in resolving the related problems which they can do at their own level.  

He has issued various directives to them and hopefully these would result in bringing improvement in the railway’s working including control on late running of trains which emanate from Karachi.

Junaid Qureshi said that the plans were underway to restart the freight trains on priority basis, which in real term are the real revenue backbone of the railway.

“Railways certainly suffered a revenue setback with the closure of freight operation”, he conceding, adding that Karachi Railway Division has only 89 working locomotives out of a total strength of 111.

He said that he will be visiting the loco shed at Cantonment Railway station to assess the possibilities for repair of defective locomotives and for this purpose the railway will release necessary funds as well. He announced that Railways will start operation of two freight trains from Karachi from next week

To a question, the GM Railways informed that talks were in final stages for obtaining Rs 6 billion commercial loan from National Bank of Pakistan. He said this amount will be spent on the repair of 80 locomotives and will be repaid from the income generating from freight and other operational trains.  

Junaid Qureshi informed the media that international tenders have been floated for purchase of 150 locomotives, to be opened in June.  

Replying to a question, the GM said that railway is going to run six more trains on public-private participation during the next 30 or 45 days.

He told a questioner that for the present the railway’s revenue was 30 percent below the target. But the situation will improve by next month when freight trains will be operational.

The General Manager Railways undertook a visit to various railway divisions starting with Karachi Division He will be visiting Sukkur Railway Division and Multan Railway Division during the next few days. He will be taking a team of senior officers along with him for resolving various issues on the spot.

Junaid Qureshi has pledged to personally undertake a journey to various destinations on trains and has issued same directives to his officers to follow his suit in an effort to bring improvement in the railway’s working.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Subha-e-Nao provides kidney education with quality recreation

Jumbo Editorial Team

That’s the beauty of the whole thing. The serious issues pertaining to the ailment of kidney were unfolded to the audience in such a manner which kept them glued to their seats without realizing that they were being actually taught a few lessons.

That’s what the dramas are meant to do. That’s how the theatre is considered such an effective medium in the society.

In 90 minutes, Subha-e-Nao passed on invaluable medical information to the audience in a nice way with emotion, humour and style.

There were elements of humanity, patriotism, family affections and love which were depicted through the various scenes.

Subha-e-Nao was produced to raise awareness in public about the kidney diseases and transplant issues. The drama, written by H Iqbal, was endorsed by the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation. It was directed by Adam Rathors of Adams Theatre. It was staged at the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi, with the collaboration of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), on April 1.  

The cast was a mixture of famous TV artists like Saleem Afridi, Rauf Alam, Shahida Murtaza and Asghar Mandviwala and the lot of talented newcomers included Dur-e-Shahwar, Zarish, Zaib, Imran Hussain, Kashif Khan and Hussain Sachwani.

The story revolved around a dashing young athlete who was laid low by kidney problems. His entire family shared his pains as they had to endure traumatic moments.

They battled it out and never lost hope. The never-say-die approach brought about the rewards in the end after the early despair.

In fact it’s a real story of a Pakistani youngster, Saleem, who had his first kidney failure in childhood. He went for dialysis but later on he had kidney transplant. Luckily his brother’s kidney gets matched and he had a successful kidney transplant at SIUT.  

After transplant he led a successful life. He participated in various Olympics  for Transplanted People and won gold medals for Pakistan. 

He also got married and was blessed with two kids. He did not consider his blood pressure disease very serious and after four years his transplanted kidney failed.

Once again he went on dialysis but this time he had no donor from his family due to tissue matching. He waited for a quite long time for an outsider, other than family, to donate kidney to him.

He had another successful transplant and resumed leading a normal and happy life. He returned to the profession of sales and has continued performing well.