Yesterday, the CEO of Gul Bahao was invited as chief guest at Textile Institute of Pakistan (TIP). The occasion was the launching ceremony of a boat made from used pet bottles. Escorted by young female students of the institute, Nargis sat in the boat rowed by the girls. It was a delightful occasion for all those Karachites who had traveled from the heart of the city to witness the innovation.
The TIP is located at the edge of the city, near Ghaggar Phattak on 32 acres of land. It has been developed by a well known architect. Right in the middle of the lush greenery of the campus is a lake on which the boat was sailing. A good deal of mathematics must have gone into the “bottled boat” as even a strong wind failed to over turn it while the combined weight of the “passengers” did not sink it.
Then followed a number of speeches at an improvised public meeting place with the lake in the background. In her maiden speech, the student organizer of tip Ammna Shahzad revealed that she and a couple of like minded students were tired of seeing all kinds of garbage littering the idyllic campus. The main “culprits” she said were plastic pet bottles. Both the faculty and the students decided to do something about it. The result she said was the “bottled boat”.
Highly enthused by her boat trip on the campus lake, Nargis Latif reminded the audience consisting of faculty and students of the tip of the teenager James Watt who discovered the steam engine and hence ushered in the industrial revolution. She talked of the youthful Wright brothers who while trying to emulate birds trying to fly in the air ended up inventing the modern airplanes. She also spoke in detail how her urge to clean up the metropolis of Karachi landed her with 21st century concepts, innovations which “nobody in the world had ever imagined” she said and which are meant to make life cheaper and easier, she claimed.
Talking in a more serious vein, the Gul Bahao head pointed to the natural disasters afflicting Pakistan from time to time. She warned the well fed “burger class” that god forbid Karachi can “drown in a river of gutter water.” she reminded that not very long ago a 24 yr. Hour downpour resulted in high speed waves sweeping away peoples belongings in the shanty towns of the metropolis. This has also happened in the elite south she said. The cause cited was the clogging of the drainage system because of poor solid waste management for a metropolis of Karachi’s size she said research is indispensable for any proper solution of its waste management system.
In his presidential speech the head of the institute Mr. Zarar Zubair, agreed that the best way to acknowledge the student’s innovation is to market it.
In the end, amidst thunderous applause, Nargis was presented with a plaque by Mr. Zarrar Zubair. Later on as a token of honor a tree was planted in Nargis Latif’s name.