IRC Media Advocacy

IRC Media AdvocacyInteractive Resource Centre aims at social development by changing attitudes and behaviors.However, there are certain issues that require legislative reforms, effective policy implementation, changing systems and structures, etc other than behavioral change. Believing in “If the problem is with the fabric there is no point in changing the design” IRC adopted the most effective tool of advocacy through media in order to influence the mainstream. 1

While theatre has provided IRC a strong platform to educate, empower and engage communities to voice their issues and concerns, media is playing the pivotal affecting the policy and decision-making process by influencing the majority to complete the circle of social change. The use of media by IRC has linked micro with macro issues.

IRC now has become a resource center developing Participatory/ Community Videos, Documentaries, Video Profiles, Talk Shows and much more. IRC is currently making use of sources such as Cable Network, TV channels, Radio, Web-based TVs for dissemination of its messages

Accountability of local government for better services:

Interactive Resource centre is involved in media advocacy process and it used this tool to reflect the working of local government in Lahore and Bhakar districts for better services.
This process involved research and documentary making to highlight the problems of sanitation and sewerage in the district of Bhakar and Shalimar town of Lahore. Documentaries under the title of Kab tak reflected the problems of sanitation and sewerage in Bhakar and led local government towards its solution.
This was not only a success story of media advocacy of IRC rather it was an innovative mean of linking up people using this communication as a tool brought government close to the people of Bhakar. The change was oblivious and visible, but still a long way to go, however the process of change has begun.

Human Trafficking:

IRC has been working for the issues of human trafficking and Irregular migration. For this purpose IRC organised interactive theatres, to raise awareness among masses of 17 districts of Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh, in collaboration of International organization of migration (IOM).

Through these theatres awareness about human trafficking, human smuggling, and irregular and illegal migration was created. These theatre performances advocated raising voice against different ways of human trafficking. 90 percent of human trafficking is done through the routes of Gawader, Turbat and Mand.

National Forum De-legitimize Taliban- theory and practice

The national forum was organized in Holiday Inn Hotel, Lahore by IRC where people from Waziristan participated and the students of F.C College and Kinnaird College were present in the audience. Visitors from Waziristan shared their experiences they had with Taliban while they played their traditional music on stage. They said that people were not happy because of all these terrorist activities by Taliban over there.
Senior Journalist Khalid Ahmed also talked about Talibnization. He shared that he went to Afghanistan and the people over there said that the ideology of Taliban had come from Pakistan as their all Pashtun leaders had read in Pakistan’s Madrasahs. While we keep on insisting that it has come from Afghanistan.
Dr. Khalid Ahmed said that years ago when he went to the LUMS University the graduate students had this impression that Taliban story was a conspiracy either by the West or by India and if that was not the case then we should not take it seriously. He further shared the fact that Taliban brain wash children 13-14 years of age to become suicides bombers.
A theatre performance was also staged where Taliban were shown humiliating and terrifying people in their daily life. In the end a question and answer session was done with the students.

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National Forum on bonded labor

The Seminar was organized in Best Western hotel, Islamabad. Where chairman HRCP Mr. I.A .Rehman associated Pakistan’s development to the development of the laborers, women, peasants and the masses. He said without these achievements we can not think about development and the state is useless then. He further said when we talk about the issue of bonded labor then first of all we need to know the significance of a common person in our society.

Senator PPP Mian Raza Rabbani said that doing changes in the Bonded Labor Act won’t be enough until we do not create a moral and social pressure.

Senior social activist Mr. Keramat said the reasons behind the non implementation of all the Acts regarding laborers is that the government machinery is dominated by feudal lords. After the discussion by the dignitaries a theatre performance was staged on bonded labor. It showed that laborers on brick kiln are not paid according to the government ruling. They are suppressed and if the laborers go to the police station to file case against these brick kiln owners the police goes against them instead because these brick kiln owners are influential.
After the play a question and answer session was done with the audience.

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