Admit it or not, but a little change can go a long way. Keeping this in mind an initiative was launched in 2012 to pay tribute to distinguished personalities, who work tirelessly to improve access to education, health-care and livelihoods for Pakistan’s poorest of the poor. Yes, we are talking about Engro Pakistan’s ‘I Am The Change’ (IATC) initiative that aspires to collaborate with the corporate and the philanthropic sectors of the country. Recently, the IATC Awards 2016 were held to celebrate the people behind Pakistan’s contemporary evolution. This year, IATC featured individuals who have both, rewritten the narrative of Pakistan and are working to bring about a meaningful change in their respective fields. The event began with discussions and inspiring videos at the picturesque Frere Hall. Later on, the awards were distributed.
IATC award in the education category went to IDSP Community Learning Centers. Initiated in 2009, the project aims to nurture and develop individuals and communities that will change power structures by demystifying processes of education and development and generate value based partnerships and practices at all levels. IATC applauds IDSP for improving education across marginalized communities in Baluchistan and upholding the values of bringing positive transformation to society by acting as a true change-agent.
Speaking at the occasion, Khalid Siraj Subhani, CEO of Engro said, “As a country, Pakistan is a land of untapped potential, a space where we have numerous talented citizens who have been deprived of the resources necessary for self-actualization. The onus is on all of us to write the story of change together because it is only through collective action that we can together change the world.”
The recipient of the IATC award in the category of health was Afzaal Memorial Thalassemia Foundation (AMTF) that provides solutions to all blood related diseases under one roof, completely free of cost. IATC recognized REEDS (Rural Education and Economic Development Society) as the recipient of the award in the healthcare category. The organization aims to create income generating opportunities for sustainable livelihoods of marginalized communities in district Rahim Yar Khan. The recipient of the Special Category Award was ‘doctHERS’, an up-and-coming digital, healthcare platform that connects female doctors to needy patients in real-time while leveraging leading-edge technology.
The agents of change illuminated the evening with their bright ideas and thoughts regarding social change. During the event, Humaira Shaikh, Director of Peace and Pluralism at Shirkat Gah also talked about human rights issues, particularly for women and minorities in areas marred by social and political turmoil.
The event also shed light onto Pakistan’s 70 years of existence and took the audience through a nostalgic journey of our rich and varied cultural heritage. From art and architecture, prose and poetry, fashion and music, to sports narrators Imran Aslam and Nadia Jamil kept the audience engrossed through their conversation and dialogues, as they looked back and appreciated the contribution of varied personalities who loomed large over the cultural landscape of the land we call home.