My name Nadia Yaqoob. I live in a village near Bahawalpur. I have a loving family and am myself third of the five siblings. My father is government custodian, my mother and elder sister maintain the home front, my elder brother does farm work and the younger two brothers are studying. Growing up I strongly held on to the values of human equality. When they pulled me out of school at 7th grade I shocked at the reason why my education was disrupted — women’s place is at home. What? Who degree this rule? With such thinking how will move forward as community? I didn’t want to show disrespect to my elders so I held my tongue and made a silent resolution to do something to reclaim this right to education.
The first step would be to set an example myself by breaking the very barriers I advocated against. I enrolled in the stitching course that Kaarvan offered. I convinced my immediate family to place their trust in me, and today they can proudly tell you that their trust paid off. I am now a skilled artisan who has now become the earning head of the family at the young age of 18. It wasn’t easy. I guess going against the norm never is. I am grateful that my family believed in me, trusted and supported me. I am here today as much because of my own will and their faith in me. This is what the society needs braving trust. It is when we work side by side that things better not only for one person but for a family and a community as well. I hope to to grow further in life, to learn more about art of stitching, and continue breaking the barriers that hinder women in my area to travel and live life to the fullest. Despite the opposition of the society, the support of Kaarvan, of my family and my will to strive is enough to keep me going and achieving my dreams.