By Zubair Ud Din Arfi / Farooq Mughal : Muzaffarabad (3 March 2021)
A Pakistan origin British woman set a glorious example by rebuilding an earthquake affected primary school in a far-flung village of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). 28-year-old Shireen Khan met the total expenditure of newly constructed building from her own pocket by spending all her savings that she earned while working for overtime.
Shireen Khan who is a nurse by profession, inaugurated the newly built primary school on Monday. She runs a charity known as Carrot Kids.
The new building is comprised of three classrooms, one office room and two washrooms along with other facilities constructed at a cost of approximately Rs. 2 million at Cheerban Punjkoot village, some 50 kilometres away from AJK Capital Muzaffarabad.
Shireen travelled from Britain to Muzaffarabad to watch her dreams coming true with tears in her eyes. She said that it was unbelievable for her that such a nice building was constructed in a small budget as compared to the public sector construction norms. She appreciated her local coordinators who made this possible raising her confidence in them.
She moved to Britain at the age of 3 years with her parents and got education in the United Kingdom. Later, she chose to work as a nurse as she wanted to help the humanity from her earning as was advised by her parents in the younger age.
While describing the reason to build a school in a remote village of Azad Kashmir, Shireen said that a picture in social media showed the children getting education in open area in snowy conditions. So, she decided to do something for this school and got motivated to construct the building. Then, she started working overtime to save money.
She contacted some local people through a person of the area living in United Kingdom and started sending money to them for the purpose and after completion they informed her but she said it was unbelievable for her that such a beautiful building could be constructed with such a small amount and decided to travel to see herself.
While talking to local media persons a day after inauguration of the school here on Tuesday, she expressed her desire to construct more schools in the area from her own income and savings. She said she was encouraged by the cooperation of the local friends in completion of this building with a very small amount and seeing young children studying in this building.
She said when she was a young girl, her parents used to advise her to help other people when she would start earning and had a dream to work for the people of her native country which become true with the competition of this small project.
She said it was the matter of satisfaction for her that her savings had been used for a noble cause and she was encouraged to work more for betterment of education and health sectors in Pakistan particularly in AJK.
She said if every Pakistani living abroad does the same; no child would remain out of school in the country and expressed optimism that others will follow her steps bringing the betterment in the country.
Social worker Shireen Khan meeting with Barrister Iftikhar Gilani, education minister AJK.