Women of substance


She is young. She is drop dead gorgeous. She is the single and extremely dedicated mother of a beautiful young boy, a dutiful daughter and an affectionate sibling. She is the only pop diva of the country and yet she finds time for those who are less fortunate in life. She is Hadiq Kiyani. A roving ambassador for the United Nations; a philanthropist who is not busy getting donations to build a hospital, but instead is passionate about making homes for those less fortunate in life, having lost everything to the recent devastating floods in the country.

Hadiqa has travelled across the lengths and breadths of the country in the last few months, visiting those affected and traumatised by devastation of the floods, trying to bring relief either through United Nations or on her own. Its amazing what a single young woman can put together without much fanfare and simply go about her job. All of this while she is busy crafting out yet another album and rushing from one place to another for a string of on-stage performances.

Pakistan has been very good to a lot of us. Yet regrettably, most of us never stop short of complaining and making plans to move abroad. It takes a very special breed of human beings who can put aside their fame, talents and life and dedicate themselves to those who are less fortunate in life. I have always been extremely impressed by philanthropists and super heroines like Surraya Anwar (SOS Villages), Seema Aziz (CARE Foundation), Imrana Tiwana for fighting to preserve the trees in Lahore and so many more.

These are amazing individuals who have been gifted by God to help those who need it the most. They are my icons and stars and I would love to stand in a cue to get their autographs for they make me feel that life is more than what we desire it to be. If you meet Surraya Anwer or Seema Aziz you cannot help falling in love with their passions. They manage to give so much of love and share happiness and tears of joy with thousands that it is simply inconceivable.

None of the above drive in flashy cars, or live in palatial homes or wear designer clothes. They hardly ever appear in social gatherings and parties; yet their enthusiasm, vigor and drive to do more is clearly visible. Few people may be aware of the fact that Atiqa Odho, the lovely and gorgeous actress of television and films, has adopted a village after the floods to reconstruct it with only debris of mud and clay; a monumental task that only a woman of substance could undertake. Or how can you not help admire Tehmina Durrani who was the first to initiate reconstructive surgery for girls that were burnt by acid or kerosene oil. Sadly not many know that it was Tehmina and her drive that has helped many similar NGOs come to life. Tehmina does not like to take any credit nor publicity for any of her great deeds.

Khadija Bibi is the most beautiful woman I have ever come across. She is almost 70 years old, uneducated, lives in a remote village of South Punjab. She applied for a loan of Rs 5000 from a micro finance institution and bought a pair of goats. She then donated the first born (goat) to a young widow in the same village so that she does not have to beg for milk to anyone. What a remarkable super heroine? Faryaal Talpur I am told works round the clock to help those who have no voice. I have never met her but my friends tell me she is an exceedingly devoted and selfless human being who is devoted to relieve the miseries of those who have no one else to look up to.

Sadly, some of these wonderful women are not known for the communal service they put in and perhaps that has a little to do with us journalists too who are busy digging out negative stories than those that have helped shaped lives around us. All of the above and perhaps even more that I am not aware of are indeed great ambassadors of humanity in this otherwise selfish society of ours. On a personal note, I feel if I could become even half as good as any of the women above I would consider myself to be an extremely successful man.