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- Friday, October 31, 2008 - From Print Edition




Begum Akhtar Riazuddin, founder and lifetime president of the Behbud Association of Pakistan, was presented the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the association, which is a multi-purpose resource development and welfare organization working since 1967 with branches all over the country.


The award was presented to her on her 80th birthday at a ceremony held at the Behbud headquarters in Saidpur. This award is an addition to those she has received for her outstanding work and the full and active life she has led in the service of her country.


Akhtar Riazuddin was born in October 1928 and graduated from Kinnaird College, Lahore, in 1949. She did her MA in English from Government College, Lahore, in 1951. She remained a lecturer at Islamia College for Women, Lahore, from 1952 to 1965. She remained a member of the All Pakistan Music Conference Committee from 1957 to 1965. She participated in the First All Pakistan Handicrafts Exhibition in Lahore in 1965.


Begum Akhtar Riazuddin acted as adviser to the National Craft Council during 1985-1986. She worked as volunteer field worker and coordinator between federal and provincial governments for all kinds of relief and resettlement work during national emergencies like wars, floods, earthquakes and refugee influxes from 1965 to 1984. She worked as federal secretary of the Ministry of Women’s Development from 1986 to 89.


She has been VP of NGO Coordinating Council for Population Welfare, Pakistan, 1984-1986, NGO Council for Population Welfare, 1991-92, Board of Governors, National Rural Support Programme, 1991-1992, Bait-ul-Maal, Federal Board of Governors, nominated by the Prime Minister, Board of Governors, NATPOW, set up by the Ministry of Population Welfare,1997-1999, Apex Body, Pakistan NGO Forum, representing 3,500 NGOs and CBOs.


Other duties include Women’s Conference in Sweden in 1958. International Conference on Health and Family Planning sponsored by Dr. Mehbub ul Haq in 1995. Leader of the delegation to the Third International Congress on Women held at Trinity College, Dublin, in July 1987. Participated in the Regional Conference organised by the Centre for Development and Population Activities on ‘Options for a Better Life for Young Women’ held at Kathmandu (Nepal) from December 3 to 5, 1987. International Conference on Women’s Rights held in Paris in 1988.


She attended the 32nd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women held at Vienna in March 1988. She participated in the Unifem-Saarc seminar on ‘Gender and Poverty’ in April 2005.


Begum Akhtar Riazuddin was the leader of the delegation to the 32nd Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women held at Vienna in March 1988.


Her book ‘Pakistan’ was published by Stacey International, London, in 1975. Her book ‘A History of Crafts in India and Pakistan’ was launched in Pakistan in 1990 and the next year in London.


She worked on a thesis titled ‘The Contribution of Islamic Civilisation to India & Pakistan.’


Begum Akhtar Riazuddin was conferred Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the president of Pakistan in March 2000 for her voluntary social service. She received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ of the Ministry of Women’s Development in August 2005. She was given the Adamjee Prize for her pioneering work in the genre of travelogue in Urdu ‘Dhanak Par Qadam’ in 1972. Earlier, she wrote ‘Saat Samundar Par.’ She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.