In third-world countries like ours, science is a luxury. With hundreds of thousands of people below the poverty line who barely have their necessities met, there is almost no room to nurture science, innovation, and creativity. Even those who dream of alleviating their generational cycle of poverty can only muster up the resources to send their children to substandard government institutions with outdated curriculums and a culture of rote learning. Amidst all this, a child’s innate curiosity about the world is crushed.
Through these constant dark clouds, a beam of hope emerges: Lahore Science Mela. The festival, organized by the Khwarizmi Science Society, is one of its kind in the nation. The event truly embodies the word “inclusive“. It is an open access event; from poor to rich, children to adults, minorities to majorities- all are welcome to engage with science completely free of cost. It is an event that transcends all boundaries of caste and creed for one purpose only: spreading the love of science.
Despite political turmoil, lack of governmental support, and limited resources, the festival continues to thrive. Inaugurated in 2017 by a devoted team of scientists, teachers, and students, it continues to grow in impact and size with every iteration. The entire team consists of volunteers who, amidst the hustle and bustle of life, find the time and energy to contribute in whatever way they can for a brighter tomorrow. They translate their hopes and dreams for a scientifically advanced Pakistan into a call of action.
The two-day Lahore Science Mela hosts people from all over. Not only do exhibitors and visitors come from all the nooks and crannies of Pakistan, they also come from beyond. The event hosts everything from school projects of children to large-scale innovations by international companies. In the past, KSS has collaborated with world-renowned organizations, like CERN, to exhibit projects unlike anything ever seen before in the country and mentored students from all across the province to present awe-inspiring live experiments, collections, and performances at the grand festival . It truly is food for the soul for everybody who considers themselves a curious learner at heart.
After a break due to COVID-19, the mela is back this year. Lahore Science Mela 2022 is going to be held at Divisional Public School (DPS), Model Town, Lahore, on the 29th and 30th of October 2022. This year’s theme is based on a beautiful excerpt from Allama Iqbal’s poetry, “Raaz-e-Hayat pooch le Khizr khajasta gaam se, Zinda har aik cheez hai koshish-e-na tamaam se”. KSS look forward to hosting all lovers of science in a place of mutual love, respect, and collaboration, to celebrate the wonders of nature, technology, and inventions and together unravel the many mysteries of the universe.
Nehl Noman is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Dental Surgery from Akhtar Saeed Medical and Dental College, Lahore. Her interests include science, activism, writing, and arts.