Recently I got the chance to sit down with Fatima Asghar, founder of Dewar-e-Ehsas, to discuss her thoughts on the impact of the collaboration between Afsana and Dewar-e-Ehsas.
Dewar-e-Ehsas was initially founded in 2019, but it officially became an organization with a full team in 2021 when Fatima was doing her first year of A levels. It originally solely focused on eliminating poverty in the community by providing rations, food, and clothes etc., but now the organization has now expanded its aims in order to minimize other issues prevalent within society.
Fatima is extremely delighted by the positive effects that our partnership entailed. For instance, with the online session officiated by Afsana and Dewar-e-Ehsas, Fatima Asghar stated how the event was able to help females who faced gender issues and other various hurdles throughout their lives. She stated: “We were able to tell them (the women taking part in the session) that they are not alone and that many of us face those issues and it’s not specific to one person. Hence, the session was a success in that every girl got to know how she can help herself and she could gain comfort by learning about others who overcame these issues.”
Other than that, Fatima Asghar shared glowing remarks about the drive for low-income, expecting women, which was a joint effort by Afsana and Dewar-e-Ehsas. She stated how the collaboration helped soon-to-be mothers in taking care of themselves and the children that they hold. Moreover, the initiative was something rarely seen in Pakistan (the only other organization known to carry out such drives is the Allah Walay Trust) which helped to raise awareness about this issue. Fatima Asghar said: “I believe we not only aided these women in raising their unborn children but we also raised awareness about it as we received a lot of emails and messages from both the youth and older generations who showed interest in taking part in similar projects in the future as such a drive was seldom held in our areas. This collaboration not only helped us grow as an organization but also impacted our audience and the general environment around us.”
On Afsana itself, Fatima Asghar explained how much Afsana meant to Dewar-E-Ehsas. To her, Afsana worked towards an important issue that needed recognition and awareness i.e. women rights especially in education. She told me how much fun she had when working with our head Sarah Haydar Khan and team member Hamza Suleman, and how cooperative she found everyone at Afsana to be. Fatima Asghar further stated how this collaboration acted as a precursor to other collaborations that Dewar-e-Ehsas conducted in the future due to all the experience the organization gained from working with Afsana.
“We hold our collaboration with Afsana very dearly, especially the female members of our organization. Consider me for example, I am not allowed to have a social life due to personal reasons and I am not allowed to go to summer camps, etc. For reasons like this, I resonated with Afsana’s goal as I understood the issues faced by women and got a deeper understanding through our collaborations.” By working with Afsana, Dewar-e-Ehsas as an organization was able to get some international exposure as Afsana has members working in the United States as well. She ended the interview as she said: ”Our collaborations were so memorable and had a great effect on ourselves, our environment, and even on our audience.”
I was also able to get in touch with the event manager of the ration drive for pregnant women, Mehtab Azmat. Thankfully, she had similar views when it came to Afsana:
“Assalam o Alaikum. I’m Mehtab Azmat, vice head event management at Dewar e Ehsas. I supervised the ration drive for expecting women where I assisted Miss Javeria from Afsana who helped me throughout. My team and I enjoyed working with the team of Afsana and found them super helpful and cooperative at every step. The collaboration was a success, and we were successful in delivering ration packets to the pregnant women. I believe this initiative was very necessary and I’m thankful to the team of Afsana for organizing something that highlights how important it is for women to look after themselves and not ignore their health at all times but specifically in the time of pregnancy so that the health of mother and baby is not compromised due to lack of nutrition. I wish to experience more collaborations like these from the team of Afsana in the future as these prove very helpful to the people in need and brings about a positive impact in the society.”
We at Afsana would like to thank Fatima Asghar for her time and cooperation and would like to thank Dewar-e-Ehsas as well for all the wonderful collaborations we had.
Written by Ahmed Rahim Hyder