A Silver Lining
By YesPakistan.com Staff Writer
Anwar Sheda is a 34 year old woman who lives in a small village, Said Munir
Koty, in Khazana Deri-Union Council in Mardan. This is one of the really back
ward areas of Pakistan where literacy rate is very low and the inhabitants of
the village are economically disadvantaged. .
According to the local customs Anwar Sgeda was married at age 13 to Sarfaraz
Ahmad from the same village. In 15 years they had seven children, three daughters
and four sons. She contributed to the family finances through poultry and livestock
business. As it was her dream to educate her children, she enrolled her eldest
daughter in Mardan Government High School for Girls. Her daughter had to walk
four miles daily to get to the school, but she did not get discouraged.
her husband died a sudden, tragic death due to an electrocution accident. So
she was left alone to take care of her family.
Meanwhile HDF approached Said Munir Koty and the first Development Organization
(DO) of men in the village was formed. But due to many reasons, including lack
of interest and initiative, it did not last. Due to cultural restrictions it
was even harder to form a women’s organization in that area. But Anwar
Sheda took the lead and the initiative. She motivated other women in her village
to become active and form the first women’s Development Organization.
Finally her efforts paid off and the first women’s DO was formed, and
Anwar Sheda was elected its President.
During this time her daughter Saira graduated from high school and became a
teacher in one of the HDF schools in the village. HDF schools in Mardan are
managed by the Tameer-e-Millat Foundation. She also received the training for
adult literacy teaching and became a teacher in the HDF Adult Literacy Program.
This DO is a very active organization. Anwar Sheda’s mother at age 70
also enrolled in the Adult Literacy Program. 80% of the women can write their
So now besides her daughter’s salary of about Rs.2500 she receives Rs.700
from her husband’s pension plan. She has a regular savings plan. She is
much more confidant about her children’s future now.
Anwar Shead is a brave and courageous woman. Her activism and leadership has
set an example for the rest of the villagers, especially women. We hope that
this will lead to the development and uplifting of the whole community of the
village Said Munir Koty. Anwar Shead will always be recognized and respected
for her role in moving this community towards a brighter future.
Date/Time Last Modified: 1/22/2003 2:45:51 PM
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