LAHORE: Terming, what she called a movement for humanitarian jehad, noted social activist and writer Tehmina Durrani formally launched her organisation – Tehmina Durrani Foundation (TDF) – here on Tuesday.
Formed two years ago, the foundation has been working for the last one year, it is time to take its message to the world, she told the media men invited to see the launch. “It is the most important journey I am starting now.”
Explaining her motivation, Ms Durrani claimed that internationally acclaimed work of Abdul Sattar Edhi provides the core concept: “We are picking the mission of Edhi, where he left. His duty was to serve the humanity without distinction of caste and creed – and so is ours.”
At TDF, it will not only be his philosophy but his practice as well: Established under the supervision of Edhi Foundation’s personnel, the TDF operates on the exact method of low cost, transparency, accessibility and without discrimination.
Recalling her meeting with the late Edhi, she said: “When I presented the TDF incorporation document to Edhi Sahib in 2015, he put both hands on it, shut his eyes and said to Bilquis Edhi, Faisal Edhi, and myself “My mission has now begun!”
He told me to “be fearless and forthright, no matter what the consequence. And never feel sad at feeling completely alone in carrying my mission forward. You will have many opponents; discount them. It is only in undertaking the responsibility that you may remain focused. As your work is for God, all credit belongs to Him. And as the result is not yours to claim, failure and success must also not be your concern.”
Since the Edhiism was all about serving the poor, the TDF will take it to new level: empowering the poor (to demand his rights) on the one hand and sensitising the ruling elite (for constructing a truly welfare state) on the other.
“That is precisely why the TDF is starting with educating the poor on his rights and convincing the rulers that they cannot do without a welfare state.
“That is why the TDF is being launched as a “global movement of learning” and all its teaching centres will be integrated with Edhi Foundation’s essential facilities and ambulance services to spread across Pakistan and the world. It will spread humanitarian philosophy of “Edhiism” across the world as the counter narrative to militant Islam,” she said.
“In Edhi Sahib’s words, Bilquis (his wife) is 99 per cent of his foundation’s success. At TDF an empowered woman is therefore a natural status, and the single practical realisation of a woman’s empowerment is economic independence.”
Needless to say, the world will soon be ruled not by us, but by the children of today, who are the leadership of tomorrow, and it is imminent that the consequences of war have deeply affected too many of them. Having witnessed the inexplicable toll of an endless war on the children of Afghanistan, Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, as well as many other countries, and the predictable terrorist spillover into Pakistan, as well as across the world, TDF is committed to secure the future of the planet, by securing the children of all and any war across the world.
Poverty, child abuse, child labour, child prisoners, street children, sex slaves, child beggars, young domestic staff, deprivation of health facilities, disparity in education, unequal opportunities, injustice, unemployment, the dowry system, unequal distribution of wealth, are indisputably comprehended by TDF as War Zones. TDF aspires to provide complete rehabilitation, earnest therapy, and wide-ranging skills across Pakistan, and wherever in the world that effort is required.
TDF intends to strive on a war footing to provide free housing to the homeless; adopted on the model of developed countries, until which time, TDF, with assistance from a prosperous community conscious citizenry, has already adopted many deprived families across Pakistan.
“I have unwavering faith that in taking on this epic duty, the TDF will soon become contributor to the world’s future evolution and for that, I shall need the counsel, the work force, the moral support, the funding and every possible assistance of all those concerned with the above mentioned “Corrections of Direction,” she concluded.
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2017