The late pop singer Nazia Hassan, apart from being a famous singer, was a philanthropist at heart, and she continues sends her blessings to the street children from heaven. A new charity called the Nazia Hassan Foundation will give underprivileged children the opportunity to educate and groom themselves.
Muniza Basir, mother of the famous Pakistani pop artist, spoke to Images about the family's latest initiative.
"We are working towards establishing a school here in Karachi, but this is not just any other school in Pakistan. This school is specifically dedicated to the grooming and education of working children on the streets - who have been burdened with the expectation of earning for their entire families at the expense of their own education," she says.
She further explains, "Our school aspires to offer these children a course on whatever they are already doing as a profession, while also teaching them basic subjects such as English, mathematics, computer skills and history. The aim of this initiative is to brush up skills that would help them flourish in their profession, while also being capable of going and taking up their work in any other place and not having to worry about getting by."
They aim to branch out the foundation across Pakistan but for now they will stick to Karachi.
"Karachi was where Nazia was born, and like millions of other people - it is her home. We plan on starting out here, and Karachi has the greatest number of such children running around, looking for any kind of work that will get them do wakt ki roti," reasons Muneeza.
Her mother also talks about why the school was named after Nazia and what were her dreams for these children.
"Nazia's wish wasn’t [specifically] to launch her own school, but her wish was for Pakistani children to be able to earn a living, while also being able to get educated so that they don’t ever get left behind. An educational program is good for any poverty-ridden country," her mother shares.
"I saw a building which belongs to our family. I was aware that from a business perspective Nazia’s father would take some time thinking over the prospect before handing it over to me. I asked him hesitantly, “What about this building of yours?”
It’s in a prime area to set up a learning centre for children. I remember that it was Nazia’s wish, and she was working on it even at that time. I knew that this property is too expensive to be used as a centre of education, but I was shocked to hear Basir respond with, “What could be more valuable than my beti’s wish, and all these children’s lives and futures?”
"We believe in education for children no matter what their circumstances, and no matter how poor they are. Education is every little child’s right," says Muniza and we couldn't agree more.