When Iran showcased its Dewar-E-Meharbani (a project for social betterment) there were many similar projects similar that took place around Asia. Ours was inspired by the initial project as well but with a different touch. Our group for the project collaborated with the DO GOOD MOB and set up “Ghubaara-E-Meharbani”, which was aimed at street children. Basically, the idea was to spread love on Valentine day through small gestures. Our small gesture included giving out free candy and balloons. The project took place in F-7, Jinnah Super Market Islamabad.
Our target audiences were street children and the unfortunate people living on the street who are not able to afford the simple luxuries of life. The primary objective of the social project was to deliver the values of being kind to children and the under privilege class, the secondary objective was to make known that kindness is an act of love that is rarely showcased in our society to strangers. The government banned valentine day and this provided the perfect opportunity to raise awareness that love need not be specified to a partner always, but comes in general acts of being kind towards other people. This brought focus to the idea of love and kindness to strangers or people we meet on the streets in our daily life.
The name Ghubaara-E-Meharbani originated from the concept of filling balloons with candies that were hung at a wall and everyone was encouraged to take one. What we often see is hesitation among children and people in general when they receive something nice from strangers. The wall invited everyone to participate to a full extent. Our wall was fully assembled around 11 am which on a weekend in the twin city is very early but as soon as we started there were children lurking around eager to see what we were setting up.
Around the same time we were in the process of setting up the wall, Channel 24 came to report on our project. Being recognized for your projects of social betterment is actually a very nice feeling that motivates you to do more. The wall was initiated at around 11:30 while my group members gave interview to the news channel reporter.
Mohammad Mehtaab, a teenage boy had an air machine to fill balloons with and was awesome enough to help us out throughout the event. At first, the children were a bit reluctant to go near the wall and get something but from our teams encouragement they overcame their doubts. After a while, kids were seen playing with balloons and even were kind enough to inflate some later.
This was a social project so mobilizing the people around us was very important. Our team went ahead to convince people to participate by blowing up balloons and giving it to the children in the crowd. A group of boys travelling all the way from Lahore were kind enough to participate in our social cause by inflating balloons and giving it to children nearby.
Our supplies ran out around 2:30 and it took us half an hour to disassemble our setup. Around the time we were all going to grab a bite, a child came up begging. But, we really did not have anything with us except a balloon that we gave to her. Seeing her smile made my day, honestly.
Ghubaara-e-meharbani taught me the value of being nice to people around me regardless of who they are. Normally, street children who are seen begging get shooed away or even badly treated but this invoked the idea of treating them with kindness because after all, every being deserves to be treated with respect.