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With school bell ringing: Syed Shehyar Ali

Urdu Comic Book ‘little Master’ help children fight Covid-19 misinformation
Karachi: An Urdu-language comic book “Little Master” is going to be released on Monday to help Pakistani children get awareness on safety measures amidst the ongoing.

The book, published by Mehrdar Art & Production (MAP), talks about the story of Ahmed, a young boy from Karachi, who has taken on a mission to learn about the coronavirus to help the people of his community and society safe from the infectious disease.

The book focusing school going children as its audience is written by Inam Hassan while Umair Najeeb Khan, the creator of Pakistan’s first superhero comic book series “Paak-Legion, has made the illustrations.

Books are still the best method to convey message to the masses, thus this comic book will provide maximum Covid-19 related information to the children and counter all sort of misinformation and myths about the infectious disease, said Muhammad Faheem, documentary filmmaker and MAP founder.

The focus of the story is a young boy Ahmed who is famously known by little master within the community as he focusses on observing and learning before coming to resolutions. The story focuses on little master’s journey on developing an understanding of the pandemic and trying to spread awareness on following SoPs, countering extreme narratives spread due to the pandemic, and trying to maintain peace within different socio economic classes, cultures, belief systems and casts living within the community.
Team Mehrdar Art & Production aims to print 10,000 copies of this 6-chapter comic book to distribute amongst different schools amongst less privileged areas of all the district of Karachi which includes Lyari, Mauripur, Ibrahim Hyderi, Korang & Sheerin Jinnah Colony in order to reach out to young children and students to learn and develop an understanding of pandemics and epidemics.

About the inception of campaign, Faheem added that when the virus broke out here in Pakistan, we noticed the rise in community strife, blame games among communities, we felt there is a need to start a counter campaign to promote inter-fatih harmony amongst the different communities living in Karachi.

“Therefore, a campaign was designed, “Hum Sab Saath, Corona ki Kilaaf” (“All of Us Together Against the Coronavirus”, the campaign addressed the situation through posters, social media campaigns and talks by community leaders,” Faheem said.

Hum Sub Saath Corona Ke Khilaaf is a campaign about Covid-19 and how its been really difficult for people to navigate through the pandemic in Pakistan and in some ways caused unrest amongst different sections of society. We talked about these issues through print and social media campaigns, added Illustrator Umair Najeeb Khan.
He went onto add that this comic book Little Master is the last part of this campaign which is very rare for local campaigns we see here. What drew me to the project was it being an awareness campaign that catered to all sorts of audience, including children through comparatively newer mediums like comics in Pakistan.
Talking about the book, He added that the idea of the comic book was sudden as when we came to know that schools are going to open hence there is a dire need of a book, a sort of guide for children to read during the pandemic.

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