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Tuesday March 05, 2024

Behbud Association leading the way

December 10, 2023

Islamabad: When women’s empowerment was just a dream and unheard of in our male-dominated society, it was a few women of forward-thinking, motivated by Akhtar Riazudin, (Founder) that decided to start a vocational training school in her garage. 

This was way back in 1965 and it was the beginning of a movement that became a beacon of hope for the underprivileged women and children of Rawalpindi.

Civil society activists holding placards pictured at the first Aurat March held on International Women’s Day. — AFP/File
Civil society activists holding placards pictured at the first Aurat March held on International Women’s Day. — AFP/File

Behbud Association of Pakistan, with its deep commitment to health and empowerment of women, has been at the forefront of a remarkable journey since then, expanding to an industrial home for home-based workers; an out-patients department; healthcare and education for their children. 

It is a success story that merits admiration – but the best is yet to come and by the grace of Allah and the commitment of its many dedicated volunteers, led by president, Abida Malik, the establishment of a state-of-the-art Maternal and Children’s Hospital has been initiated, to provide round-the-clock care to the less fortunate. The cherry on the cake, so to say!

Behbud’s new hospital is not just a facility; it is a crusade towards a healthier life for mothers and their children. This proposed 100-bed hospital in the heart of the city promises comprehensive care, including antenatal services, gynaecological assistance, reproductive health care, mother-care along with services for newborns and children. In addition, there will be other services, which are a part of Behbud’s commitment - providing free medical camps and comprehensive care to the underprivileged, almost free of charge, with a focus on sustainable healthcare.

This ambitious project is supported by the philanthropic spirit of local, national, and international donors, partnerships and the unwavering belief that healthy women are the cornerstone of strong families and communities. With a building of its own, the hospital requires a substantial fund of Rs1,996 million for its completion. Behbud Association has invited generosity from all quarters: one-third from the local community; one-third from overseas Pakistanis and one-third from various charities and donor agencies and of course, the families and friends of the caring volunteers. The hospital is expected to be functional within the next two years, inshallah.