Sadako's Prayer' was launched at South Asian free Media Association, SAFMA Hall.
REMEMBERING NAGASAKI AND HIROSHIMA
A peace ceremony, recalling the horrors of the atomic bombings on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima more than 60 years ago, was held at the SAFMA Media Centre. The event jointly organized by Funkor Art and Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, to commemorate Hiroshima Day, was attended by both children and adults to express their resentment at an incident that caused destruction of great magnitude on August 6 and 9, 1945.
A story book for children, Sadako Ki Dua, based on a true story about an 11-year-old Japanese girl who was only two years old when she experienced the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, was launched that the day. “The book is about an event in history where a whole city was devastated but people of Hiroshima only rebuilt their city but made it into the centre of peace,” explains Fauzia Aziz Minallah, written and illustrator.
The story which was also read out to the children, begins with Amai, the magical dove in Fauzia’s story books, who takes the two kids, Seema and Ali, on a tour of the world. Looking down the children see the earth and its beautiful creatures.
“When there is love and laughter, and when people take care of the earth, then the world is a beautiful place and there is peace,” Amai explains. She then takes the children to another part of the world where they see ‘the terrible engines of evil’ – missiles, fire and smoke, — the atomic weapons that are made by men and used for destruction.
“Thousands of men, women and little children have been killed and maimed by these terrible weapons,” Amai then relates the story of a little girl named Sadako, an innocent victim who later died of cancer caused by the radiation.
“The people of Hiroshima endured the pain and suffering of an atomic bombing and turned it into love. They did not waste their energy and money on developing weapons to take revenge for the destruction of their city. They turned their city into a centre of peace. They pray and work for a world without nuclear weapons, a world where innocent children like Sadako are protected from devastating wars,” was Amai message.
Today human beings have developed atomic bombs many times more powerful than the A-bomb and thousands of innocent children have been killed and maimed with these terrible weapons.
The book, with an introduction written by Kishwar Naheed, is dedicated to the survivors of the devastating earthquake of October 8, with the message that “they may they have Sadako’s strength to rebuild their devastated lives”.
According to Fauzia, “The book shows the will of mankind to rebuild life anew after every catastrophe. Sadako was an innocent victim of war who wanted a world where children are protected from devastating wars.”
Children gathered at the SAFMA Media Centre called for an immediate end to Israeli aggression on Lebanon and stockpiling of nuclear weapons in the world, in general, and in South Asian Subcontinent in particular.