ISLAMABAD (NADEEM REPORT )
Sustainable Development Policy Institute on Monday, held prize distribution ceremony of inter-school poster/painting competition. The poster competition on “Chemicals Impacts on Environment and Children Health – Beware of Mercury” was targeted at two levels: junior level (class 5th – 8th) and senior level (class 9th – 12th, including porn cartoon O & A levels students).
The competition encouraged youth to reflect upon the issue of chemicals and their impacts on environment and health. It was expected that the contest would lead to increased awareness and garner greater support for protection of environment. Around 30 schools in Rawalpindi and Islamabad participated in the competition, where about 400 entries were submitted to the organizers.
In senior section, Yashaf Nadeem from Islamabad College for Girls won first prize, Kanza Mussadiq from PAEC College Nilore got 2nd prize, Khadija Noor, also from Islamabad College for Girls got the third prize, Uzair Munir and Roha Sikander from Beaconhouse Margalla Campus got 4th & 5th positions likewise. In junior section, Maheen Kamran from Brookfield ISSC Campus won first prize, Fatimah from Khaldunia High School won second prize, Minahil Naveed of Beaconhouse Civil Lines Rawalpindi won the third prize while Manahil Bahaarwa from Khaldunia High School & Sulaiman Qazi from Beaconhouse School System won 4th & 5th prize vice versa.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest, Dr. Ghulam Asghar Abbasi, Chief (Health Section), Planning Commission of Pakistansaid that there is need to sensitize the youth creating awareness on scientific subject. He congratulated the prize winning students and encouraged them to excel in life and win Nobel prizes for the country. He also suggested to the organizer of the competition to arrange a screening of documentary about mercury disaster in Minamata Japan a few years back.
Dr. Mahmood A. Khawaja, SDPI Senior Advisor, briefed participants on adverse impacts of chemicals and recent international negotiations to curb the use of hazardous pollutant Mercury. He said that SDPI took an initiative to use ART for advocacy and awareness raising on health and environmental issues, especially among school students. This competition sought to raise awareness on negative effects of chemicals especially mercury on environment and health. “We had anticipated that the contest would lead to greater understanding for minimizing chemicals production and use (especially mercury) for the protection of environment, healthy living and sustainable development” he said.
In his welcome remarks, Dr. Abid Qayium Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI appreciated the efforts of students. He said thatMercury poses risks to environment and human health, especially of children. However, it is great to know that after receiving our recommendations Polyclinic Islamabad has banned use of mercury chemical in its premises.
Dr. Vaqar Ahmed, Deputy Executive Director, SDPI said that SDPI would continue to work with youth to preserve biodiversity and protect environment.
In her concluding remarks, Sadia Sharif, Advocacy Officer, SDPI informed participants about upcoming theatre/Skit competition on the same topic, which will be announced soon.