After successfully completing the first edition of Taakra in 2018, UCP set another mark with its 5-day multicategory mega event Taakra’19. This year’s Taakra stood out from all other such events because of its unique theme of “internationalization”. Taakra’19 went international to promote cultural exchange among students to give them the opportunity to learn and interact with their peers from across the globe. The event started on 20th February and ended on 24th February, and each day was filled with excitement, zeal, fun and a competitive aura for the participants.
The opening ceremony of the event was held on 20th February 2019. The occasion was graced with the presence of the honorable chief guest Muhammad Manzoor ul Haq Malik, Former VP / Regional chairman FPCCI and the Guest of Honor Dr. Mohammad Nizamuddin, Pro-Rector UCP. The inaugural speech was by Prof. Tahir Ashfaq, Director Student Affairs, UCP in which he welcomed his guests and paid his regards to the international delegations for coming all the way to UCP and participating in UCP Taakra. In this ceremony, the orientation session was also arranged for the participants to brief them about the upcoming festivities and competitions of the mega event.
As the main aim of this initiative was to promote diversity and cultural exchange thus international students were encouraged to participate in this mega event. More than 130 institutes from around the globe became a part of Taakra. Participants from UK, Australia, Romania, China, Turkey, Nigeria, Cameroon & Poland participated in more than 20 categories including Sports, Performing Arts, Music, Literature, Photography, cooking etc. and all the participants gave tough competition to each other.
38 Numerous competitions in 17 categories like MasterChef, Law Moot Competition, Neuropedia, Rap Wars, Sherlock Holmes, Dub it, Futsal and many more were arranged and all of these managed to garner a lot of attention from the participants. Cash prizes worth Rs.1,800,000/- were awarded to the winners and runner ups of UCP Taakra’19.
The event also included 3 star-studded Social nights for the entertainment of more than 10,000 people. On the second day of UCP Taakra’19 Qawwali Night was organized which enthralled the audience with the voices of two famous Qawwals; Fayyaz and Shahbaz. Students kept dancing in a traditional Sufi way as the spell of the Qawwals’ voices created an ecstatic ambiance. The international students were mesmerized by experiencing the rich Sufi culture of Pakistan and enjoyed the beautiful Qawwalis. The second social night presented the audience with a dazzling fashion show organized by renowned designers Faadi & Emaan. All the glamour on the ramp left the audience awestruck. Along with the fashion show, DJ Awais Haider fired up an electric crowd with his music.
Another highlight of the event was the performance of the world-famous band Sahara UK on the 4th day of Taakra’19. The huge crowd danced with every beat of their songs and the energy just rose with every minute. The performance was followed by the new age Pakistani Popstars; Bilal Saeed and Aima Baig in a very happening and jam-packed concert. The two singers set fire on the stage with their energetic performances and gave their audiences a memorable experience.
The closing ceremony of Taakra was held on the 24th of February, and it was the night of awards and rewards. The Chief Guest of the night was Mian Amer Mahmood, Chairman UCP. And the Guests of Honor included globally renowned names such as Justice (R) Nasira Javed Iqbal, Mr. Ali Akbar Rezaeifard, DG Khana-e- Farhang Iran, Dr, Muhammad Shahid Soroya, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Minhaj University, Mr. Kamran Lashari, DG Walled City Authority, Dr Rizwan Naseer, Founder DG Punjab Emergency Service, Mr. Carl Liu, Director Confucius Centre PU, Mr. Mazhar Alam, Project Director Chinese Archeological Excavation and Dr. Meilan. The night was filled with happy faces as the awards began to be distributed among the winners. The most awaited award of the evening was the team trophy for which the cash prize was Rs.100,000/-
Out of 150 teams, Punjab University won this award and it was well deserved as the students from PU won the greatest number of competitions. Taakra’19 concluded with an enthralling performance by the Chinese Delegation in which they performed the Chinese Dragon Dance and a lavish dinner for the guests.