A few weeks ago, I joined Kaarvan Crafts Foundation as a volunteer. I am doing my O levels and decided to take a part in this social enterprise for a purpose during my summer vacations.
As I was born in a well off family, I had everything to fulfill all of my needs and enjoy the luxuries of good education and having almost always the best of everything. However, as years passed I became more and more aware of the world around me. Whenever I went out with my parents I used to see people in their big cars while on the other hand, people of the same area without hands or feet begging for money across the street. However, it was the poor condition of women that alarmed me especially in the rural areas of the country. Why are sons preferred over daughters? Why are women discriminated on the basis of a false religious belief where as our religion (Islam) has always stressed upon treating women with care and respect? Why are women restricted from completing their education? The fact that women were being discriminated for little or no reason seemed very inhuman to me. Moreover, I was even more shocked to see that there were only a few organizations and people supporting such a cause.
Kaarvan being amongst those few organizations gave me the opportunity to play my part in addressing the problem. On my first day of working with Kaarvan, I was warmly welcomed. I knew that the next few weeks I would be working on things I had very few knowledge about as this was my first internship. However, as the time passed by I was able to grasp the feel of how things were through the help of my senior workers Bylal, Akif, Shazib, Sharoze, Mashal and Anam. I would like to say a special thanks to them as they always encouraged me to give my opinions and suggestions openly on their work and projects and made this experience an enjoyable one; with their cheerful company on field trips and their casual yet dedicated approach to their work. It greatly impressed me. During my work with Kaarvan, I was mainly involved with content writing and research. I examined more than 30 stories of resilience, bravery and endurance in Pakistani women and the miseries that were bought in their lives. However, it was only until my trip to the KCF training centre in Gujranwala that I was able to completely connect with a poverty stricken society and identify their problems. As we went there for data collection surveys, I got truly good opportunities to talk and comprehend the depths of the unyielding women which were training under Kaarvan. Through their stores of bravery and courage, I realized how tough realities are as we move away from the city of Lahore where I belong. The efforts which these women made to improve their lives were breathtaking. How they stood up against the society by breaking the limiting walls of our culture; it could not have been done by any ordinary person. It was like they were absolutely determined, strong and unstoppable.
I would like to end this by thanking Kaarvan for providing me with this priceless opportunity to become aware of the positives and negatives of my society and culture. Furthermore, it made me socially attentive to the thought that there are bigger problems in my country and there’s something that I need to do about them.
– Jibraeel Danish