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Female Dump Truck Driver From Thar Among Three Honoured With Mai Bakhtwar Award

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ISLAMKOT: A dump truck driver from Thar and two other women have been awarded the prestigious Mai Bakhtwar Award by the Sindh Commission on the Status of Women (SCSW), Government of Sindh.

During a ceremony held on Wednesday, the awards were presented to Ms. Nusrat Khaskheli, a dump truck driver of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC); Ms Naila Kausar, a student and entrepreneur from Karachi nominated by the Women Development Foundation Pakistan; and Ms. Falak Naz Hakro, a home-based worker from Sanghar, nominated by the Sindh Agricultural and Forestry Workers Coordinating Organization.

The Selection Committee 2019 included Ms. Mahtab Akbar Rashidi, Ms. Khalida Memon and Zulfikar Shah. They are not only members of the Advisory Committee of SCSW but prominent personalities of Sindh in their own right. A list of seven women was shortlisted, out of which three have been selected on the basis of their remarkable success stories.

The awards were based on the criteria as decided by the Economic Empowerment Committee of SCSW: i.e. a woman who has struggled, contributed to society or to her home and who has demonstrated strength through her contribution to society despite the challenges of rural life. The Commission announced the Mai Bakhtawar Awards last year on International Rural Women’s Day, with a cash prize of Rs.10,000 for each winner.

In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Ms. Nusrat Khaskheli said that she feels extremely proud after receiving the award and thanked SECMC for providing her an opportunity to prove her abilities. “The women of Thar […] have proved they are resilient, hard-working and daring enough to do any kind of tough jobs, like driving a 60-ton dump truck.”

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Syed Murtaza Azher Rizvi, Vice President of SECMC, said that it was initially challenging to bring Thari women on board to drive a 60-ton dump truck used in transporting coal from a mine to a power plant.

“52 Thari women including Nusrat dared to accept the challenge despite all societal odds and taboos and this has proved that women can do everything at par with men,” he said. “We will continue to open our job spaces for women so that they […] show the world that Thari women, if provided with opportunities, can do wonders in every field of life,” he added.

 

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