The EdJAM Children's Series is a collection of illustrated books for children designed by undergraduate students and illustrators to highlight historical and contemporary narratives that are missing from textbooks in Pakistan.
The story is about the importance of land and housing rights, told through the lens of a 10 year old Krishna, who is trying to make sense of why her family and friends are being forced out of their homes that they have built for generations. It sheds light on the anti-encroachment drive in Karachi, and the struggle of grassroots organizations like the Karachi Bachao Tehreek. To learn about their movement, see: https://karachibachaotehreek.org/
Writer: Zoha Batool Khan
Artist: Tooba Shahbaz
“I want people to realize that it may be the default to live in cities designed to be hostile to children and animals but it should be challenged…Why have we accepted it as a given that children shouldn’t be able to navigate buildings alone? Why is it okay for strays to die on the streets from traffic and starvation? Why do we think their experiences are somehow separate from ours? A city that acts like a child is a problem will treat every virtue associated with that child as a problem: the same vulnerability, the interdependence, the joy, etc. What if we reimagined our cities? What if we realized that making cities safer for both children and animals makes all of us safer in the long-run? What if kids realized that just because everything is currently inconvenient or outright hostile doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way?” Zoha Batool Khan:
(Interviewed by Sonya Rehman for Forbes New Children’s Books Highlight Pakistan’s Overlooked Heroes 2021)
Learn more about EdJAM Pakistan Children’s Series – Beautifully illustrated stories of historical and contemporary figures here