"To be able to open the way for someone is satisfying": Interview with Ishrat Hussain

Ishrat Hussain's personal story of her experiences as a clinical psychologists have been shared on our platform, but Afsana wanted to learn more about her personal efforts in community empowerment for women in far-flung areas of Gilgit-Baltistan. The leading member of the Afsana's journalism team, Sadia Rashid, was able to interview Hussain to hear about such efforts.


Ishrat Hussain is the first practicing clinical psychologist of Skardu. She is currently working as a clinical counsellor and a visiting lecturer at the University of Baltistan. She is also a trainer for Tameer o Tabeer (health, education & hunger) project of Poverty Alleviation Fund of Pakistan. This project supports the development of community driven institutions. She also works part time at UMANG and Crime Victim Services Pakistan. Ishrat also provides free clinical consultations. She is also an associate researcher at the Center for Community Development & Research (CCDR), Bangladesh.


On the right, Afsana's leading journalism team member, Sadia Rashid, sits down with Ishrat Hussain on the left, a clinical psychologist based in Skardu, Pakistan.


Afsana is pleased to share various parts of her interview with our audience. Learn more about her initiatives in this part of her interview below:


Ishrat Hussain her development initiatives in Gilgit-Baltistan.

"Women had to be made aware of their rights. I had so much to do for both genders yet I also knew that mental health was considered a taboo in our society. This was still the way I could make a contribution."

Ishrat Hussain discusses the state of mental health in Gilgit-Baltistan with Sadia Rashid.

"I visit far flung areas of the Skardu district and conduct group consultations with women where they share their problems with me. I let them know of the importance of getting education for themselves and their children. Had I not been a part of the same culture and religion, there would not be any impact."

Ishrat Hussain shares her role as being a part of the community and its influence on her participation in community development.

"People often ask me what the biggest problem of the region is and which development goal solves that. And I always tell them that except for Skardu city where things are relatively better, far flung areas of Skardu district and elsewhere in Gilgit Baltistan, people lack basic necessities of life. So areas like education and gender equality are far from even being considered."

Ishrat Hussain describes the importance of her presence as an inspiration for other women and the meaning for providing a basic education in more remote communities.

One way that you can also help is by supporting our work at Afsana.

To begin supporting Afsana, you can read Ishrat's personal story about becoming a clinical psychologist here. You can also learn more about our fundraiser for the Muhammadia Learning Academy here, and you can donate to them here. Any help will be greatly appreciated by the community and will go on to serve the future generations in the region!