Friday 26 June 2015

Help Educate Girls in Pakistan - Zarina Shamim Scholarship Program (ZSSP)

A recent report on state of education in Pakistan titled “25 Million Broken Promises” highlights that there are currently 25 million boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 16 who are not in school. Girls make up more than half of all out of school children.

Education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for women. It is also an area that offers some of the clearest examples of discrimination women suffer. An educated woman has the skills, information and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker and citizen. Cost of education and poverty are two key reasons among many barriers to girls education.

While the State has failed to provide universal education facilities to all its citizens, private and charitable educational institutions are doing sterling work to fill the gap. One such great example is the Ala-ud-Din Academy Girls High School and the Zarina Shamim Scholarship Programme. I reproduce below an email from Zareen Niazi, Executive Director of the school highlighting the achievements so far and inviting everyone to join in and help.

Dear Family and Friends,

I am writing to request your support and active participation in our Zarina Shamim Scholarship Program (ZSSP) to help young women in Pakistan attain higher, as well as professional education. 

Since ZSSP’s inception in 2007, we have grown to successfully fund 81 scholarships for young women to attend college, university and even professional education.  This has been a wonderful journey for me personally, and I have seen first-hand the benefits that education can bring to young women with so much potential.   Yet, while we are making a small difference in our country, the number of young women who cannot afford higher education in Pakistan continues to increase.

I am pleased to inform you that our very first two scholarship holders from the first batch of ZSSP have completed their medical degrees.  First young woman is Umm e Rubab, who graduated fromKing Edward Medical College, Lahore and second is Hira Nasser who has graduated from Alama Iqbal Medical College, Lahore.  Both have now started their house jobs. 

Several other scholarship holders have now completed their B.Sc. (Honors) degrees and are working and helping their families financially. 

Currently, we are paying 81 (eighty one) girls for their college, university and professional education.  In addition, there are about 80 students of our school and 15 (fifteen) students of Computer Technology Center are being supported by ZSSP. 

I have seen first-hand that young women have much more meaningful lives once they are empowered financially, physically and emotionally. We believe that ZSSP has the great opportunity to empower many more women to achieve their potential in making a profound difference in their lives and communities.

The Matric result for the year 2014-15 is due at the end of July 2015.  Currently, we are interviewing girls who have been short-listed and recommended by our Scholarship Committee.  Final selection of winners will be made after the Matric result.  There is huge potential and we hope that the number of students, with college education scholarships, will further go up with your generous support. 
We are thankful for your continued support and hope that your contributions will keep flowing.  You can help by:

  1. Sponsoring a school student by donating Rs.2500/- (U$ 25/-) per month.  This includes tuition fee, books and stationery expenses.
  1. Sponsoring a school student by donating Rs.3000/- (U$ 30/-) per month.  This includes tuition fee, books, stationery and a bag.
  1. Sponsoring a school student by donating Rs.3500/- (U$ 35/-) per month.  This includes tuition fee, books, stationery, bag and two uniforms.
  1. Sponsoring a girl for college education by donating Rs.6000/- (U$ 60/-) per month or Rs 72,000/- (U$ 720/-) per year.  This includes tuition fee, books and stationery expenses.  
  1. Contributing any amount to ZSSF for girls' school, college and / or university education.
  1. Creating a scholarship in the name of someone whom you want to recognize and honor.  This will be one time payment as seed money.  The money to start such a scholarship is Rs. 500,000/- (U$ 5000/-)  
  • Donating through our website via PayPal and Major Credit Cards.
  • Making donations via cross checks - in the name of "ALDA - Zarina Shamim Scholarships Fund"
  • Depositing your donations directly in the following accounts: 
  • Mailing your donation checks to Ala-ud-Din Academy, 114 Danyal Street, Pakistani Bazaar, Baghbanpura, Lahore, Pakistan; Tel:  +92-42-36848061, +92-42-36841594
Payments can be made by:

Bank Al Habib Ltd., G.T. Road, Baghbanpura, Lahore, Pakistan
Account Name: ALDA - Zarina Shamim Scholarship Fund
Account #:  0047 0081 000355 01 4 

BOP, G.T Road, Baghbanpura, Lahore, Pakistan   
Account Name: Ala-ud-Din Academy - Scholarship Endowment Fund 
Account #: 4294126-0830047: 0060180008

Please visit our website for further information on ALDA and ZSSP; &  

To view photos of Scholarship Function - September 2014, please click the link below;

Please share this information with your friends, family, colleagues and supporters who may want to contribute to this cause.

I look forward to your help, time and financial support. It will make a huge difference!

Best regards,

Zareen Niazi
Executive Director
Ala-ud-Din Academy, Girls' High School

Cell; +92 333 4672177

This is a worthy cause so please join in and contribute as much as you can.

Sunday 1 February 2015

Ethnic cleansing of Doctors in Pakistan - Does the Consulate General Pakistan in Manchester care!

A very organised campaign on murdering medical doctors is being carried out in Karachi Pakistan. Majority of the murdered doctors belong to Shia minority who have been and are a target of ethnic cleansing being carried out by well known religious extremist outfits. There is no evidence that law enforcement agencies in Pakistan are capable of dealing with this menace and provide security to those whose job it is to save lives. Numbers of medical professionals murdered in cold blood now runs in hundreds. Association of Doctors of Pakistani origin in the US produced a list of names of victims of this organised campaign. The list which is up to date as of last summer paints a chilling picture.

Concerned medical professionals and other members of the Pakistani community in the North West have been running an awareness campaign on this issue and launched a petition that was signed by hundreds of concerned citizens of Pakistani origin.

On Sunday February 1, 2015  a group of representatives staged a vigil in front of the Consulate General in Manchester and planned to present the signed petition to the Consul General. Authorities at the Consulate were informed and Greater Manchester Police were at there helpful best to facilitate a peaceful and silent vigil.

Representatives of the community held the vigil in freezing cold temperature with a significant support from passer-byes. It is greatly disappointing that no one from the Consulate General turned up to receive the petition. Couple of Consulate staff were visible inside the building taking photos of the vigil using their smart phone but did not engage with the members of the vigil or came out to receive the petition.

The vigil today was a non-political, non-partisan act by members of civil society who want the government in Pakistan to engage and act. Treatment and response from the Consulate General in Manchester begs the question whether the authorities in Pakistan and their representatives in Manchester care about the on going ethnic cleansing of medical profession in Pakistan and are willing to engage with the civil society.