Published under the supervision of Mehrdad Art and Production, Little Master is an Urdu comic book that will help children navigate through the coronavirus pandemic, all while learning how to extend their love and care towards their interfaith brothers and sisters.
Little Ahmed, famously known as 'little master' in his community for his ability to observe his surroundings and learn from them before offering resolutions will be the main character taking readers on his experiential journey.
Written by Inam Hasan, the colourful illustrations have been done by Umair Najeeb Khan.
Fahim Shad, CEO of Mehrdad who is also a social activist working towards countering sectarian violence and extremism in the country spoke about the urgent need for raising such a narrative in today's time.
Within his group of friends descending from areas such as Lyari, Ibrahim Hyderi, Baldia Town and Shirin Jinnah Colony where they are responsible for running a youth network, there was a collective agreement that racism was as infectious as the deadly disease.
"Everyone felt that people aren't fighting the coronavirus, instead they are fighting with one another," he said in a conversation with Images.
"Organisations refused to give relief to Hindus and minorities, blaming their castes and religion for the coronavirus."
For this reason, the comic book is divided into six chapters, with six stories catering to each issue separately. The witty and well-though out names include 'Virus-Corona', 'Afwahein Sunona' (Listen to rumours), 'Ghar se Niklona' (Don't leave the house), 'Munafay Kam Rakhona' (Cut down on profits), 'Apas Mein Larona' (Don't fight amongst one another) and 'Ehtiyat Karona' (Practice precaution.)
With schools reopening, the message of spreading peace and harmony becomes even more pertinent. Partnering with Ilm-O-Adab Publications, they aim to print 10,000 copies to be distributed among less privileged neighbourhood of all the districts of Karachi.
For children aged 4-16, 'Little Master' hopes to teach children about the pandemic, how to navigate through the difficult circumstances brought on by the unprecedented crisis and how to avoid bullying those around them, going through the same ordeal.
For those who wish to read online, the e-book will be available on the Ilm-O-Adab platform.