ICDB 2006 Celebrated in Pakistan
By Huma Khawar
International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) 2006 was enthusiastically celebrated by the media community in Pakistan on December 10, 2006. All major TV networks and radio stations contributed by producing special programming. This year the theme for ICDB was 'Unite for Children, Unite Against AIDS.'
All over the world the second Sunday of every December is marked as the International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB). On this day, broadcasters around the world "Tune in to Kids" by airing programmes for and about children. The main objective of the day is to encourage electronic media to celebrate the day not only by producing quality programmes for the children but by also allowing children to be part of the programming process, talking about their hopes and dreams and sharing information with their peers.
“Ever since I came to know I was HIV positive, my life has been one long nightmare. I eat alone and even my plate, glass and spoon are kept separate. People are uncomfortable in my presence,”
“Ever since I came to know I was HIV positive, my life has been one long nightmare. I eat alone and even my plate, glass and spoon are kept separate. People are uncomfortable in my presence,” says Yahya, a young HIV positive teenager. “I don’t care if others treat me like an untouchable, but it’s my father who has never come to terms with my being HIV positive,” he adds. Yahya was sitting amongst five HIV positive young people sharing their experiences of stigma and discrimination. These young HIV positive people had gathered in Karachi from different provincies of Pakistan to participate in a special programme produced by Hum Television to highlight this year’s theme Unite for Children. Unite Against AIDS. — a global campaign that focuses on children who are the ‘missing face of Aids’.
The one hour programme, Ley Kar Chalain Apney Saath (Lets move on -- together) focused on the fact that an overwhelming majority of young people do not know how to avoid HIV and AIDS and lack access to the information, skills and services needed to protect themselves. UNICEF's national ambassadors for HIV and AIDS, Strings also participated in the programme.
Public and private TV networks and radio stations in Pakistan highlighted the significance of children’s participation and access to media. The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation and FM channels in the country including campus radios based in Mass Communication Departments in various universities branded the day by devoting two to three hours of Special ICDB transmissions with active participation of children in scripting and presenting the programme. The print media also contributed by publishing special issues and article on the occasion, highlighting children’s right to information on HIV and AIDS based on this year’s ICDB theme.
Television channels aired public service announcements by Strings and other celebrities about the devastating impact of the virus on children with emphasis on the fact that ‘AIDS does not affect only adults in the world: a child dies of an AIDS-related illness every minute, a young person contracts HIV every 15 seconds, and 15 million children have been orphaned by AIDS’.