HATS off to Naseem Hameed for winning the women’s 100-metre race at the South Asian Games in Dhaka and bringing a gold medal for Pakistan. The nation is proud of her.
No wonder, tribute and financial help should come to a girl, who belongs to a lower middle class family, from all over Pakistan – from President Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad to the sports ministry, Karachi Nazim and chief of the Pakistan Olympic Association.
There is, however, one extraordinary phenomenon about it. The plethora of women’s organisations in Pakistan has kept quiet, and not one of them has come out of their political cocoons to pay tribute, much less give financial aid to the daughter of a poor family.
We have scores of NGOs for women, and no dearth of busy begums flying jetliners so as not to miss a photo-op. Yet none of them has regarded Naseem’s achievements worth their time and consideration. I may have missed it in my newspaper, but I tried hard to read other papers and watched TV and was disappointed. I failed to find a woman leader or some women NGO coming up with some grant for her and urging girls throughout Pakistan to draw inspiration from a girl athlete whose “lightning” speed, to quote a news agency, stunned everybody at the Games.