Shehri Pakistan offers civic and legal education to its 800,000+ followers in many a creative ways, including animations, posters, quizzes, helpdesk portals, short news videos, and debating platforms.
Since April, Shehri has produced over 15 animations covering various fundamental rights, the separation of powers, legal literacy, and local government. We have experimented with different forms of animation, including white board, frame by frame, 2D animation and motion graphics.
Shehri Pakistan’s nearly 500 posters have garnered a total reach of 12 million users (i.e. non-unique users). Using engaging visuals and simple yet impactful Urdu, they have tackled a range of topics. Our quiz of the week tests viewers’ knowledge of civic and legal issues that Shehri has highlighted and is a popular feature on our page.
Shehri HelpDesk engages with those who have learned the broad strokes about citizenship and governance from Shehri, and now want to learn how to use this information to solve everyday problems that citizens face whilst interacting with their governing system. It seeks to empower citizens by making sense of the tangle of bureaucracy that can be intimidating for citizens and pointing them directly to the department, governing body, or institution responsible for handling their grievance. We attempt to be as specific as possible so that citizens have the exact form, number, or department they need to contact. Shehri HelpDesk also receives a few general inquiries every now and then and answering these “google-able” questions is still important because this information is not readily available in Urdu.
Shehri Mashwara is an extension of Shehri HelpDesk in that it aims to answer the individual queries of Shehri Pakistan’s followers. However, Shehri Mashwara crowdsources the more general questions that Shehri Pakistan receives in an effort to get citizens to help each other with their problems. Shehri Mashwara was formed when we realized that that there were many people actively answering queries in the comments section of Shehri Pakistan’s posts. Shehri Mashwara harnesses and directs their efforts by publicly posting those queries that ask a more or less general legal or government related question. Followers are asked to give a source for their answer so that answers can be verified.
Shehri Aj consists of frequent, low production cost videos which aim to link Shehri Pakistan’s main civic education content to current events. The videos follow the prevalent social media format used by brands such as AJ+, NowThis!, etc. (small snippets of text over a slideshow of pictures/small video clips) and are all in Urdu. Many commentators on Shehri Pakistan urge us to acknowledge that the protections and processes guaranteed by law are not always implemented. Shehri Aj builds trust and authenticity by acknowledging the places where our governing system is not fulfilling its constitutional and legal responsibilities. However, Shehri Aj goes beyond stating that a problem exists and promotes active citizenship by including videos on what “shehris” can do to go toward solving the problem.
Shehri Mukalama provides a platform for open debate between followers of Shehri Pakistan on matters of policy to promote critical thinking about government planning and decisions. If, for example, Shehri Pakistan has done a campaign on the right to education, a policy question would ask: what kind of education? Does madrassah education count? How much control should the government have over the education syllabus? All those who participate in the Mukalama are asked to back each opinion with an articulated rationale. The Mukalama attempts to direct those who have been following the Shehri Pakistan page to now delve into the nuances of the issues that civic education campaigns have already been posted about. We hope this will encourage citizens to engage in informed scrutiny of policy points when elections happen and new legislation is passed.
A popular weekly feature, Lughat (dictionary) translates complex civic, legal, constitutional terms into simple Urdu. The objective of this product is to equip citizens with the appropriate vocabulary with which they can navigate the democratic machinery as well as elevate their conversations about human rights, private justice, equal citizenship and so on. Only when citizens understand and feel comfortable with these terms can they incorporate their meaning and essence into their everyday thought and action.