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The murder of Orangi Pilot Project director Parveen Rehman

The murder of Orangi Pilot Project director Parveen Rehman, who served as a social worker for 25 years, was widely condemned on Wednesday.

Elahi Bux, the Karachi project manager of the Strengthening Participatory Organisation, said Rehman was an institution in herself.

“She was one of those rare individuals who avoided the mainstream NGO-culture,” he said.

“People in the sector often couldn’t find her at social gatherings. She was mostly found at the annual Dr Hameed Khan forum and sometimes in special Urban Resource Centre (URC) programmes. She was media-shy and one of those persons who quietly served the poor. She will be missed. The future generation of architects and social activists have been deprived of her expertise, which will cost the city a great deal. She always talked about progress of the city and her models have been used across the country. But her work was not a threat to anyone.”

Abdul Waheed, who worked with Rehman for 18 years, called her his mentor. “She has trained hundreds of social activists and her work has touched millions of people in Karachi and beyond. She can never die. She was so brave that she used to move around the city during the 1992 curfews. If she was being threatened by anyone, she never disclosed it to anyone since it was the norm due to her work. She has forever changed the way people perceive Karachi.”

URC official Zahid Farooq said: “I knew her for the past two decades and she played a vital role in training me. She used to work for sanitation, low-cost housing and leasing of goths. She took an initiative to build an archive of maps of various areas of the city, often unavailable at government offices. Her organisation worked as a pressure group for mapping of villages within the city. She had dedicated her life to the development of the poor.” An MQM leader said people believed the Taliban might be behind Parveen’s murder because terrorists could have targeted her for some of the projects she was working on.

Courtesy : The News

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