LAHORE: ‘Laurels of Honour’, an event to honour those women who were given awards by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was held on Saturday at a local hotel.

The event was organised for the recognition of extraordinary women.

The awards were given to women from all walks of life. Award winners included Saffana Afrin, Naveen Nooruddin, Mahbina, Zoya Aliem Khan, Ayesha Ahmed Mansoor Jahanara, Sajida Zulfeqar, Naz Mansha – who was also the chief guest, Khadija Shah, Shanzae Anwar, Lubna Shahkoh, Ruba Humayun, Hina Tayyaba, Dr Shehla Javed Akram, Ashba Kamran, Shabana Asad, Madiha Gauhar, Iram Shaheen Malik, Rubina Hasan, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Jugnoo Mohsin, Rukhsana Zafar, Moniba Mazari, Anum Javed, Samina Baig, Ushna Suhail, Shazia Bokhari, Shazia Suleman, Ayesha Akram and Riffat Malik.

Two of the winners were physically challenged.

Moniba Mazari said she had suffered from an accident which left her with a serious spinal cord injury and she had to use a wheelchair.

“In a way I am happy about being in a wheelchair, because it has made me realise my own strengths and have been able to overcome these as much as I could,” she said.

“I cannot start the day without any help, but today what I am happened only after the accident. My advice to everyone is to stop complaining and be grateful for what you have so that you can make the most out of it,” she said.

Shabana Asad, who is visually impaired, was given an award for her unswerving services as a telephone operator in the National Fertilizer company for the past 12 years.

“I believe that I have always worked very hard and honestly at whatever I have done, and that is why I personally do believe that I deserve this award at this point in life,” she said.

“I also do other work like chair making, and I train other blind students both girls and boys in the Blind Association so they can develop vocational skills,” Shabana said.

She said she had been lucky not to have ever faced any kind of harassment at the workplace.

Samina Baig was also an interesting award winner, being the very first woman to reach the Mount Everest.

The young woman, who belongs to Gilgit-Baltistan, says she was strongly encouraged by her family and along with her brother she climbed the peak on the 60th anniversary of Everest.

“Those who do not believe in sending their girls out of the house should think twice because there is a lot out there that these girls can achieve,” she said.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2015

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