TO POPULARIZE science and technology in the society, Technology Times in collaboration with Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) organized an essay writing contest EssayCon 2017 aiming to create the scientific temper among the student community on “Practical and Cost-Effective Solutions to Control Water Born Diseases”. Bushra Hashmi from Jinnah University for Women, Karachi took first position, while, Asim Abbasi from Allama Iqbal Open University Islamabad stood as 1st runner-up, and Ayesha Mudassir from Former Christian College University Lahore as 2nd runner-up.

In opening remarks, Dr Muhammad Ashraf Chairman PCRWR highlighted the importance of water and need for awareness creation of safe drinking water. He told the audience that PCRWR is committed to share knowledge and expertise with every member of the society, specially students. He offered the student to use labs of PCRWR for their research work.

Talking with Technology Times, Dr Ashraf described a plan to provide contamination free drinking water for school children, identifying as “Own a School”. He stressed that society should invest on students, their health, and hygiene. He said, “PCRWR in collaboration with other organizations is planning to own a school in near vicinity of its eight research centers across Pakistan, to provide safe drinking water through water filtration”.

“Water related issues are responsible for the death of millions of people annually, across the globe. Absence of adequate and safe water supply and sanitation systems is responsible for sickness and death in developing countries, so in Pakistan. Giving students, the understandings of water borne diseases and its solutions can provoke students to work for its control, and find innovative cost-effective solutions”, said by Sayyed Paras Ali, Editor & CEO of Technology Times, while describing the aims and objectives of the Contest.

He told the audience about procedure of the EssayCon, and thanked PCRWR and other organization for their assistance to organize this contest. He said that to flourish the writing skills of the university/ colleges students, Technology Times has organized ten EssayCon (essay contest) in past on different science for development themes.

Delivering the lecture on the topic “Practical and Cost-Effective Solutions to Control Water Born Diseases”, Dr Ibrar Shinwari, Chairman, Department of Environmental Science, International Islamic University, Islamabad emphasized the importance of the subject and role of students, and academia. He said, “contests like this are unique opportunity for student community to work together on water issues and accelerate progress towards reaching its solutions”. He emphasized the students to step forward to bring change in the society.

Chief guest of the event, Tauqeer Ali Sahikh, CEO Lead Pakistan, in his address said that he is very impressed by the large number of young students who are keen to research and find solutions for pure and safe drinking water. He congratulated all the winners and urged them to spread their ideas and solutions in the wider range of society so that general public gets its benefits.

The objective behind this competition was to highlight the importance of water, and to create awareness among the youth for the significance of safe drinking water and magnitude of water borne diseases in the country, their impact and possible solutions.

The current contest “EssayCon-2017” is eleventh of its kind event. A large number of student from 56 universities of 26 cities of Pakistan contested. Bushra Hashmi the winner of the Contest read  her essay for general awareness.

Winners were awarded cash prizes along with shields and certificates. All qualified entries were awarded “Certificate of Participation”.

Dr. Ibrar Shinwari and Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad, Secretery PCRWR along with chief guest awarded the winners. Students of different universities, and personalities from academia and industry witnessed the prize distribution ceremony.