KARACHI: The Citizens Foundation (TCF) has organized this year’s Obhartay Sitaray to provide a singing platform to school going students of Karachi. Obhartay Sitaray 2018 competition will kick off from the mid-January with finale scheduled for 27th January. The judges’ panel comprises of the musical powerhouses like Tina Sani, Salman Alvi, Afshan Ahmed, SB John and Azhar Hussain among others.
Speaking about Obhartay Sitaray as a platform, veteran singer, Tina Sani said, “It is heartening to see such young students sing these difficult songs. These are the children who are singing well without any training at such a young age. With the right kind of mentorship, they could easily make a name for themselves in the music industry. Kudos to the TCF supporters for taking this wonderful initiative to help these young minds develop a good music sense. At the same time they develop a philanthropic spirit to raise funds and realize that education is the right of every child.”
Hosted by Supporters of The Citizens Foundation (STCF), Obharaty Sitaray has become the flagship singing competition event of TCF that celebrates music alongside the spirit of giving. Apart from taking part in the competition, the school students raise funds for TCF so more of the less privileged children can get educated.
Supporters of TCF are a group of volunteers assisting TCF in raising funds and spreading awareness about the mission and ultimate goal of TCF. STCF works tirelessly to engage students and management of private schools to take part in raising funds. Obhartay Sitaray (OS) is a singing program where we engage our leaders of tomorrow to start thinking about the future of the under-served children of Pakistan.
“Obhartay Sitaray as the name suggests, is a platform for the young generation to prove their singing mettle. We came up with this idea because we felt that there should be an activity that is entertaining yet raises awareness for the education issue and TCF’s contribution in this regard. This event is for our new generation to celebrate music and stand side by side with TCF students to understand that with a good education in place, there are no barriers of class and privilege. We are trying to help these children break the stereotypes so they can build a stronger, more positive future together. We are grateful to all the participating schools and our judges to making Obhartay Sitaray a success,” said Mrs. Biba Basir, Obhartay Sitaray coordinator.
The competition is a classic example that demonstrates TCF’s vision of ‘removing barriers of class and privilege to make the citizens of Pakistan agents of positive change.’ It is heartwarming to see the well-off students of elite private schools share the same stage as the less privileged students of TCF and perform Pakistani songs with equally impressive finesse.
TCF was formed in 1995 when six friends in the sprawling metropolis of Karachi decided that this was an unacceptable status-quo. They pooled their resources and funded five professionally
Designed purpose-built schools in a few slums. And they decided not to stop. Those five schools have gone on to ignite a movement across Pakistan, expanding to 1,441 school units in over 58 districts across Pakistan. The Citizens Foundation, now one of South Asia’s largest nonprofits in formal schooling, has educated boys and girls from some of Pakistan’s poorest, most neglected communities for two decades. But it has done much more than building schools. It has become – along with the 204,000 children it has helped thrive – one of the most uplifting stories coming out of a country reduced to a global symbol of violence and despair.
In an interview, Ayesha said, “All four of us have been participating in this fund raising singing competition called the Obhartay Sitaray organized by The Citizens Foundation since the past five years. Hence, we sort of knew each other from before. This time we were there at the finals of the competition and as fate would have it, Salman Ahmed was there as a guest. We performed as usual but what we didn’t know was that Salman Ahmed was recording our performances.”
The participating students are required to sing Pakistani songs only, the reason is to help youngsters support and appreciate the local music and develop greater affinity with. In a world where cultural differences are fast eroding, it is a good takeaway for the school kids to value Pakistani music and learn the importance of knowing their roots. PR