Pakistani girl mocked on TV for her drawing gets multiple scholarships

Pakistani TV show host Fahad Mustafa ridiculed a girl for her art and social media was furious

Dubai: Mocked for her artwork on television, a Pakistani girl now has multiple scholarships coming her way.

The girl, who was later identified with just a first name – Farheen, showed her sketch of prominent actor and television personality, Fahad Mustafa, on his show, ‘Jeeto Pakistan’. Upon receiving it from her, he asked her whether he “looked that bad” and proceeded to tell the child to quit drawing.

The power of social media was once again evident after her story went viral.

It all started with a US-based student, Anum Kausar, who took to Facebook yesterday to share how bothered she was by the incident.

An excerpt from Kausar’s post: “This girl drew a sketch of Fahad Mustafa and personally, I thought the doodle was super cute, but not him, NO. Not only did he make fun of it again and again but he also had the audacity to ask the child not to draw again. That’s crushing someone’s dreams, passion and art right there! How could one artist do that to another is beyond me and that too, on national television.”

Kausar said such incidents reflect on the status of art in Pakistan. She wrote: “There’s a reason why Pakistan has less artists — because hum unko ban nay say pehlay hi khatam krdetay hain (we end them before they get to become something).”

The student also highlighted a serious issue – children’s mental health. She wrote: “We can all talk about suicide and depression and bullying, but then celebrities like Fahad come on live TV and think it’s alright to insult people and young children, well it’s NOT!”

Her post included a message to the girl: “To the girl who likes to draw, keep on doing that. You’re amazing. Never let… Fahad tell you to stop drawing or to stop following your dreams and passions. I hope this reaches you.”

Soon after, people began to share Kausar’s post on social media, which garnered over 2,000 shares in a day. Users helped locate the girl and identify her.

A women-run news platform, Soul Sisters Pakistan, apparently took the lead in identifying the young girl. In a Facebook post, they wrote: “…with the power of all-women social media groups, we managed to search out the identity of this young woman! It was so exciting to speak to her mother and let her know we were all rooting for her!”

People widely agreed with Kausar’s sentiments and condemned Mustafa’s behaviour.

Twitter user @aurwaa1 wrote: “The girl bullied by Fahad Mustafa who gave his… statement ‘never to draw again’ has received a scholarship within six hours of the incident, I’m so happy how social media empowers us by bringing positivity, your time’s up…”

Tweep @dedshanzz wrote: “Fahad Mustafa does not deserve to have such a big platform!”

Another user, Asim Ameer Khan @itsasimameer, highlighted the serious effect such treatment can have on children: “The saddest part is some people think it’s not an issue at all. They don’t realise what impact it can have on a kid.”

So far, Mustafa has not responded to the controversy on his social media channels.

However some netizens did not think his actions were questionable. Tweep @Ahsan_Shahzad10 wrote: “I saw that video of Fahad Mustafa show, which people are talking about, that made fun of a little girl’s sketching. He didn’t made fun of that kid, that little girl was actually very happy…”

Kausar’s Facebook post ended up getting so much attention, Lahore University of Management Sciences and Comic Con Pakistan have apparently offered her a scholarship, along with the Institute of Business Administration in Pakistan, which is said to have offered Farheen a scholarship within a course of her choice.

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