Monday June 17, 2024

Empowering the impoverished

By Moayyed Jafri
May 05, 2018

LAHORE: In a unique initiative of its kind, the underprivileged impoverished children of Charrar Pind, who had been getting training under the patronage of Pakistani-American MMA Fighter Bashir Ahmed, were invited to a festival dedicated to them.

The event celebrated healthy character-building of these children, most of them at tender age earn their own livelihood with dignity. The event exhibited posters of these young MMA Stars expressing their resolve to engage in body and mind positivity instead of falling in the wrong company and blaming their fate for it.

At this event, the children played together and danced to the drum beat. Out of the outskirts of DHA, in stark contrast to its lavish aristocracy, in the slums of Charrar Pind next to a dusty playground and park, at the end of an alley in the basement is Shaheen Academy, an initiative of Pakistani-American Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Fighter Bashir Ahmad, and the pioneer of Pakistan MMA, promoting the philosophy of 'peace through sports.'

“This is where we hope to inspire and motivate kids and teens to be the best version of themselves as role models and leaders, hoping to use the power of martial arts to change the lives of the poor and disadvantaged kids. Some come from poor but stable homes, and many others have lives more like a stray animal than someone’s child. We are martial artists. One of the key signs of a martial artist is to stand up for seeking justice”, the celebrated MMA hero of the country said.

The objective of this event was to highlight a message of empowerment of these children and to protect those who are weak. If you do not make this a part of your identity, if you do not remind your fellow martial artists of the duty, if you do not teach this to your students, then you are not a martial artist.

As martial artists, we need to start speaking out, we need to start putting our time, resources and hearts into helping the societies and communities we live in. ”(Bashir Ahmad) Heroes for a day" is a campaign headed by Sarah Tareen (Filmmaker and MMA Fighter).