Junaid Ibrahim

SWAT: Chand Bibi, who belongs to Mingora city in Swat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, works as a social activist for the last 10 years and runs a trust named ‘Chand Bibi Trust’ which runs several schools on self-help basis.

“My only wish is to teach young girls the skills and basic education,” Chand Bibi said in an interview with TNN.

Chand Bibi said she went through hard times and passed grade 8 from a non-traditional school, then grade 10 and FSc, and started an open air school on her home terrace with a mission to fight illiteracy of girls in Swat.

“Then we were displaced by the militancy and subsequent military operation in Swat in 2009 and we shifted to Rawalpindi,” she said.

“In Rawalpindi slums, I found those Pakhtun children and young girls who were deprived of education. I took an initiative and our school was opened in just a one-room house,” she said.

“Time was hard but we kept our work flow up and now we have about 300 students, both male and female,” she said.

Chand Bibi said the government has still not recognised any of her activity. “Mostly we arrange our funding by making schoolbags, pouches and shirts through our students. I also get funds from my family members who have government jobs,” Chand Bibi said.

“Now we are a bit stable and our school system is going well, and we have two to three rooms rented for our teachers who teach in our school. Our teachers are very enthusiastic and they don’t get any salary for teaching with us,” she said.

Chand Bibi appealed to the Pakhtun mothers and sisters to get education at least up to matriculation and also learn home jobs like handicrafts, as with educated women, our children will also have easy choices about their education choices and society will develop with a rapid pace. She said no one can deny importance about education, and girls’ education is even more important. She said the dream of educated girls can be realised if everyone play their part. She said she is confident she will accomplish her mission and others will follow her.

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