IWD 2017: PPAF Organizes Amtul Raqeeb Awards for Female Community Members

PR: Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) on Monday organized the Amtul Raqeeb Award ceremony for the female community members engaged in PPAF supported community development initiatives across the country in Islamabad to mark the International Women’s Day 2017.

This year the award was conferred upon seven deserving recipients, whose contribution to PPAF-supported communities in self-advancement and socio-economic development of the area they inhabit is invaluable.

Chief guest on the occasion, Stefano Pontecorvo, the Ambassador of Italy in Pakistan said:

“I am glad that the money is going to people and initiatives that actually make a profound difference. And for this I am very grateful to PPAF. I am overwhelmed by the examples that these women are setting. I have an unshakeable belief that women are a lot better than men. Its women that change the status quo and if they don’t, then the men are going nowhere.”

Ms. Roshan Khursheed Bharucha, Chairperson PPAF, said:

“It’s an honour to be a part of what PPAF is doing for Pakistan, especially the women of Pakistan. It is these women, and women like them, who through their strength, courage, compassions and capabilities have made, and are making a difference, not only in their lives, but the lives of so many others.”

The 1st Amtul Raqeeb Award ceremony was held in 2012, and so far, 33 women and 2 men have been conferred with the Amtul Raqeeb award during the last five years. Hailing from different regions of the country, this year’s Amtul Raqeeb Award recipients included Bibi Toseera (Killa Saifullah), Zahida Bibi (Lasbela), and Saleema Bibi (Panjgur) in Balochistan. Shamshera Afzal (Chitral) and Sabeeha Naz (Nowshera) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Zulekhan Bibi (Tharparkar) in Sindh and Saira Tasleem (Rajan Pur) in Punjab. These women belonging to far flung areas of the country were acknowledged for their courage in the face of adversity and becoming role models in their respective communities.

The selection criteria for this year’s event brought into focus women from the PPAF supported community institutions with a poverty score card between 0-23 performing outstandingly in any one of the four main areas/sectors comprising primary health care, girls education, livelihood and entrepreneurship, CPI (water /energy).

Speaking on the occasion, Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO of PPAF, said:

“Women are the backbone of any nation. And the women here today are great examples of self-awareness and empowerment, to drive themselves and their surroundings towards a better standard of living. PPAF has vowed to sustain this initiative of uplifting Pakistani communities.”

PPAF instituted the award in recognition of courage of Amtul Raqeeb, a programme officer at Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP), Quetta. Amtul was killed along with two other colleagues on the way back to Quetta after performing her duties in Mastung on January 24, 2011. Her immense contribution in capacity building of local traditional birth attendants resulted in a significant reduction of the mother-child mortality rate in the inaccessible regions of Balochistan.

Source: Daily Times