Shehzad Roy may have gained popularity through music but in the last decade he’s gone from writing unabashed pop songs to music that addresses social issues. The founder and president of Zindagi Trust, an NGO that works towards improving the standard of education for the common public, Roy’s commitment to social issues hasn’t going unnoticed. While on Twitter, he’s followed by the likes of Malala Yousafzai, the singer-songwriter was recently appointed National Goodwill Ambassador by UNODC.
Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of UNODC, short for United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, while speaking about this appointment said in a statement: “Throughout his career as a singer, social worker and a humanitarian, Mr. Roy has shown an unwavering commitment to tackling illicit drugs. His position as one of Pakistan’s most famous singers, his enduring popularity with young people, and his energy and undoubted talent, will help UNODC publicise the dangers of drug abuse.”
Roy, a recipient of Pakistan’s highest civil honor, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, while reflecting on his appointment noted in a statement, “I have been following UNODC’s work even before joining them as a Goodwill Ambassador. Their work is commendable in the fields of criminal justice, drug demand reduction and HIV/AIDS prevention. These things are close to my heart especially when children are concerned, and I will give my all to my new role as National Goodwill Ambassador for Pakistan.”
According to a statement put forward by UNODC, during his term Roy will “speak out on criminal justice and drug demand reduction, visit UNODC projects, educational institutions and rehabilitation centres and raise awareness on the Office’s important work. He is expected to take part in a wide range of activities, including the marking of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, supporting prison and police reforms, and advocating for gender-responsive services for drug abusers”.
Accepting a two-year assignment, Roy added on the subject: “It is disheartening to see children imprisoned for petty crimes or drugs ruining the lives of young people. If I can help one child out of prison or convince just one boy or girl to turn away from drugs, I (will) feel proud that I have made a difference.”