This is part of a limited, annual, series, “14 Days, 14 Stories”, about ordinary Pakistanis who are doing extraordinary things in order to give back to Pakistan.
Compassion in an individual is a trait that has become rare to come by. Therefore, any individual that is compassionate deserves to be celebrated.
Qurutulain Bakhteari is one such extraordinary individual.
To say that Qurutulain Bakhteari is an inspiration would be an understatement.
Her journey has been incredible and her contribution to Pakistan – simply remarkable. She was born in 1949, just two years after the 1947 partition. Her childhood was spent in a refugee camp in Karachi. Being the eldest child pushed her towards adopting the role of a leader. She was married by the age of 16. By 21, she was the mother of three children.
Despite the challenges young mothers face, Qurutulain Bakhteari remained undeterred.
She went on to earn her Master’s Degree from Karachi University. Furthermore, she received her doctorate from the University of Technology in Loughborough, England.
From a very young age, she was immensely passionate about helping those in need. She wished to leave the world a better place than she had found it. Moreover, she would encourage others to do the same.
She has worked alongside UNICEF and the Government of Balochistan.
In the process, she helped the Government of Balochistan set up 2000 schools for girls. This resulted in the enrolment of 200,000 girls. Eventually, she founded the Institute for Development Studies and Practices (IDSP.)
IDSP aims to empower the younger population by allowing them to respond in situations that require critical thinking and leadership.
The students are taught to promote various spheres of activism, such as human rights, gender equality, and political participation. By inculcating empathy in the younger generation, Qurutulain’s brainchild is paving a path for a better tomorrow.
Qurutulain Bakhteari’s compassion led her to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in 2006.
However, her contributions towards bettering the lives of others have earned her something far more valuable – immense love and respect.
We can only hope and pray that the fruit of her labor is seen through the lives she has changed. Perhaps, she has passed on the compassion that resides so deeply within her to all those who have had the pleasure of being acquainted in any way whatsoever. Undoubtedly, people like her are the reason why our country still has a chance to prosper.
For more stories from our series about extraordinary Pakistanis check out “14 Days, 14 Stories“.
Cover image via morenews.pk