The activities of environmental awareness have entirely different meanings in a least developed country like Pakistan. Here most of such activities are conducted just as a formality where instead of focusing over the dissemination of information simply fun gala sort of things are mainly done just to attract the visitors. Entry in such events is not free of cost and a fee is charged to each visitor which itself shows how would be the response of public of a poor country to such premium activities.
WWF Pakistan Nature Carnival 2013 a poor show
The same episode was recently been repeated by WWF Pakistan in its Nature Carnival 2013 in Karachi that was conducted with the sponsorship of Toyota Motors. Several schools of the city were invited to display their environment models but most of the event revolved around a unaesthetic stage where cacophonic live music was performed. Most of the visitors kept asking each other during the Carnival is it not the noise pollution. The music was hugely loud and there was no synchronization in sound and music. Most of the singers were copycats and sang the songs of other singers in a premium event.
Public had to pay for its awareness raising
The Carnival was meant to raise the awareness level of public, but no one was allowed to enter the premises of the event without a ticket of Rs50 (half-dollar). In a poor country like Pakistan charging that much amount to the seekers of environmental awareness is itself an injustice. WWF Pakistan also promised various activities in the event as showed at its ticket but 30% of these activities were entirely missing while rest of things was also done in the barest way.
Lack of voluntarism was conspicuous
Lack of voluntarism was evident from the volunteers of the event. They were doing work as if they are purely paid workers. Their attitude towards the participants was not good. The event was totally directionless during the whole day. Visitors who paid Rs50 for their entry were trying to get maximum benefits but there were a few brochures on environment at few stalls otherwise rest were displaying boring models about various types of pollution and green issues. Most of the schools have been displaying these models for the previous two decades in same type of events organized in the past. They keep their models safely and whenever such events are organized they clear the dust from the models and display them again. It means creativity and innovation was entirely missing from the event.
Commercialism dominated the mood of event
Another sad side of this event was its commercial aspect. Most of the corporate stalls were sold in Rs0.5 million each ($5000) but they had nothing to offer to public, nor did they have any green products to display at their stall. In short they don’t have anything to impress people that they are green or going green in their business activities. Toyota did introduce a green car internationally but that was also not prominent in the event. It shows how much interest one of the largest motor brand showed to participate in the event where it just displayed its latest model car of 2013.
Other Pak cities have also to suffer
WWF Pakistan plans to hold the same event in other big cities of Pakistan. It means it will be raising more funds through showing unappealing and boring performances that fail to raise the awareness level of public in the past. When journalists asked few visitors what did they learn in the event they simply said they learnt how to dance in Gangnam style and nothing else. This noisy song was the theme song of the event which itself carry a lot of noise pollution.
In countries like Pakistan that hugely lack public awareness on environment there is pressing need to conduct meaningful activities without any commercial motive. Here people who are already least interested in environment will not pay to get their awareness level raised. Therefore, purely voluntary activities with the element of seriousness are must to sensitize people on environmental issues. For this purpose all stakeholders have to join hands and reject such elements who simply want to exploit such opportunities to fill their own kitty.
WWF Pakistan should not forget it is branch of a globally acclaimed green NGO. So it must not compromise over its glaring tradition of retaining quality in its every work. We hope they guys will prove they are really part of a high-repute and one of the top qualities global green NGOs of the world.
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