Friday May 27, 2022

Rights activist gets Commonwealth award

May 15, 2022

By Our correspondent

Islamabad: Pakistani woman lawyer and rights activist Tahira Hasan has received the United Kingdom's Commonwealth Points of Light Award for promoting the wellbeing of orphaned, abandoned and stateless children in her country.

The awards are given away to outstanding individual volunteers, who are making a positive change in their community.

Tahira Hasan expressed jubilation over the accomplishment and said it was an honour and privilege to receive the Points of Light Award and was a recognition for the work of all those involved on a day-to-day basis, highlighting and fighting for the rights of stateless and marginalised communities in Pakistan.

She said the right to citizenship, identity and more specifically children’s rights, was a neglected subject.

"This award goes a step forward in bringing these issues to the forefront,” she said.

Tahira said she, having been a strong supporter of adoption, specialised in family law and custody cases.

"I founded the Imkaan Welfare Organisation in 2012, which now runs a shelter and recreational centre for orphaned and abandoned children in Karachi’s Machar Colony, a squatter settlement home to around 700,000 people. I also set up a mother and child healthcare centre there.

Also, I help families adopt orphans and stateless children and work to reduce infanticide and child abandonment,” she said.

The rights activist said Imkaan was founded on the principle that each and every child has the right not only to live but to thrive as well.

UK High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner said Tahira was making a big impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in Pakistan.