Arts Council of Pakistan (ACP) Karachi held the first session of the third day of 15th Aalmi Urdu Conference “Childrens Literature in the 21st Century” under the chairmanship of well-known journalist and writer Mehmood Sham.

Naeemuddin Kanwal, Salim Mughal, Abdul Rahman Momin, Seema Siddiqui and Sana Ghori expressed their views and read papers from this session on children’s literature.

Ali Hassan Sajid presided over the session, while addressing the session, Naeem uddin Kanwal spoke about children’s poetry and read out his poems written on children.

Seema Siddiqui while addressing said that great writers have written fiction for children. Whatever is written for children should be written at the mental level of children so that children’s interest in the story remains. Easy words should be written for children instead of difficult words.

In his speech, Sana Ghori said that in the 21st century, children should be attracted by technology and YouTube, now the child does not want to listen to the old “Chanda Mamoon” and “ghost stories”. Today’s child who talks about science needs science stories.

Robots are now shown in cartoons. We have to change our topics today. Speaking at the session, Salim Mughal said that it is very important to tell stories and teach stories to children because stories are very important. If stories were not important, Montessori schools around the world would not be a subject. Abdul Rahman Momin while addressing said that even in the 21st century children’s literature is as important as it was in the 20th century.

The difference is that today’s child sees literature with technology. During the presidential address, Mehmood Sham said that all the great writers of the world have created literature for children. Children’s literature means that we think for the future. The child of today has to grow up to be the man of tomorrow.

Answering various questions, the speakers said that this year, PhD has been done on two magazines which are encouraging for children’s literature. For the first time, a three-day conference on children’s literature was held at the official level in Islamabad. The Prime Minister has announced that awards for children’s literature will be given at the official level every year.

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Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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