Malala’s no stranger to fame, controversy, love and hatred. The good thing in all of it is that she’s certainly undeterred by it all because she keeps on working hard toward her ultimate goals.
For those of you who may not know how Malala’s journey began, here’s some background information straight from Malala Fund’s website. It all began with a pen name.
Her writings got her featured on BBC.
Which led to her shooting. The rest is history.
A very important quote that Malala has shared is as follows:
And it stands true, too. Malala’s story is the story of many girls. And one such individual is Khanzadi Baloch.
Though she’s currently taking shelter in Karachi, Khanzadi Baloch hails from a village at the border of Sindh and Balochistan. It is there that her fight for education began – one that she had to end up fighting with those closest to her.
Khanzadi’s passion for education became evident when she gathered a group of young girls from her village nearly a decade ago. Under a tree, she began imparting basic knowledge.
Despite being a teenager back then, she had an immense influence on her own village along with other nearby villages. Soon, she had gathered enough students to set up an elementary school where she taught selflessly, free of cost. Eventually, her effort was noticed and appreciated by Hajji Maqsood Ahmed Brohi, an official from the education department.
Nearly six months later, Brohi informed her that he’d received the approval to build a school using World Bank’s money. Her family provided the land. The expenditure was nearly Rs 7.6 million.
However, upon completion, her uncle, Mir Dil Khan, and brother, Abdul Waheed, informed her of how they’d used her to obtain the structure for their own benefit. Khanzadi informed Brohi, who likened her to Malala.
However, Khanzadi’s troubles had just begun. Her brother began physically abusing her. Her maternal uncle took her to Shikarpur where he locked her in a room without a cellphone.
Khanzadi remained undeterred and called a police helpline through her younger cousin’s phone.
A local judge sent Khanzadi to a shelter for women and her uncle to jail. However, Khanzadi was emotionally blackmailed into retracting her statement so that her uncle could be released. At this point, Khanzadi began fearing for her life. She approached the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. The HRCP supported her when she left the shelter and moved to Karachi.
Khanzadi is now married to one of her trusted relatives and is the mother of a five-month-old child. However, she’s still fighting for education.
Saira Shahliani, a female lawmaker from PPP, has taken interest in the case. As quoted by Arab News, here’s what she had to say:
“When I heard about it, I went to her village where she was not present. But I met with her parents, other family members and several other villagers. I also held a news conference in Jacobabad and assured them that I would support Khanzadi and will help her get justice.”
“In Karachi, I contacted her and she came to my house along with her husband. She told me that she wanted to go back to her village. I talked to her parents, but they were not taking the responsibility of her husband’s family. According to them, her husband’s brothers-in-law [brothers of his other wife] will kill both of them since they were powerful and had the support of the Sardar. I talked to several influential people in the area, but no one was willing to take the responsibility.”
“I went to senior superintendent of police of Jacobabad, Sajid Khokhar. He said that he had visited the village. When he heard that the school had been converted into the village courtyard, he had placed several restrictions on the use of the school. He also went to the women’s shelter to look for Khanzadi Baloch, but she had left by then.”
While the journey Khanzadi Baloch is on seems riddled with obstacles, it seems there’s finally hope for change.
The feared Sardar has passed away, leaving behind an educated son. Khanzadi hopes against hope that she will be able to get justice and finally fulfill her dream.
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Cover image: arabnews.com