By Ramsha Aijaz
What is Chai Chalk? A new dhaba? A society? These are the first things that come into your mind when you hear of Chai Chalk. When I went to the recruitment drive, I naively believed it to be kind of a society. It was only after the presentations that I understood what Chai Chalk was really about. In the jam packed auditorium A-1, Chai Chalk conducted its first recruitment drive. In the first half, the audience was shown a couple of videos discussing what Chai Chalk was all about. After that one of the founding members, Asad Shabbir related the story behind Chai Chalk. He discussed how Chai Chalk was a cause that came about after a couple of like minded people came together and discussed the need for a platform where people could discuss social and political issues. It took only a day for Chai Chalk to start up and less than a week to become popular.
Asad talked about how after Shiv Sena’s (a radical Indian organization) recent infamous protests against PCB led Chai Chalk to take an initiative. After the Indians launched their campaign where they held posters and declared that being an Indian did not make them hate Pakistanis, Chai Chalk took a similar initiative. Chai Chalk’s now viral campaign “Profile for Peace” mirrored the Indian campaign. However, this time it was the Pakistanis who spread the message of peace. Asad talked about how after this international magazines and channels like CNN started approaching Chai Chalk for interviews. For him, it was unbelievable that this cause which until, a few days hadn’t even been formed was now so successful.
Asad also briefly discussed about Chai Chalk’s website where Chai Chalk members can write on political, social and literary topics. He stressed that Chai Chalk is looking for members who can display passion and have the enthusiasm and urge to do something. He also talked about the revival of Pakistani literature and hoped that LUMS could also have its own publishing press. In the end, he praised the efforts of his Chai Chalk team whose contributions had been invaluable to the project. I certainly believe that Chai Chalk is a thought provoking idea that can help the youth in preserving the cultural heritage of our country.