16 Days of Activism 2018 - Blog

Enough is Enough breaking communal & social barriers! End Gender Based Violence through Education!

Posted By Baela Raza Jamil is the Trustee/Advisor for the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA)

ITA

Our Sub-Altern Heroes of Pakistan-Nargis Hameedullah! 19 Years old Karate Champion Quetta, Balochistan - Defying Traditions for National Pride!

“I always wanted to be the one to bring about a change,” Nargis told Al Jazeera. “I’m very happy to be able to write my name in history”. Oh there are so many Firsts for Nargis Hameedullah and for Pakistan! Nargis at 19 years of age is the first female karate instructor of Quetta and has represented Pakistan internationally. On August 25, 2018, Nargis defeated Napal’s Karki Rita 3-1 in the match played for Bronze medals at the Asian Games 2018. Her eyes are set on bigger wins. She won a gold medal in the South Asian Championship in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2017. She is part of Pakistan Female Karate Association. But nothing comes easy for girls and especially from the Hazara community.

 

Nargis hails from Hazara Town in Quetta where the Hazaras are targeted regularly by extremist groups and victims of insurgency and sectarian killings so odds are pitted against girls; she says ‘people do not encourage girls to step out without burqa or go shopping alone, what to speak of such sports” She suffered death of her grandmother’s brother that shook her and the family. She suffers from anxiety about the ‘next target killing, trying to overcome through physical training, .. we have only one road to enter and exit the community enclave, in the city so is not easy.” said Nargis. She admits “a lot of the girls say that any day we could become victims of target killing, so what’s the use of playing? Mentally, I get really disturbed by the security situation. We have a lot of martial arts clubs [in our community] and mostly, the participants are women.”

 

Her father Hameedullah, allowed Nargis to play sports when she turned five, against harsh criticism from the community. But Nargis quickly added “I have answered them with a medal. I think they are proud of me! Now we have many karate clubs where more girls then boys can be seen training”. She dons the hijab carefully during her fights and is fearful “Even if I win the world title, and my hijab is a bit off, my community will not appreciate that.”

 

Mr. Hameedullah, wants all his children to do well in education and sports as this is their biggest security weapon. Her mother is a nurse and father works at a flower shop; working extra hard for covering expenses for the championship tours

 

Nargis has just cleared her FA (Grade XII) with flying scores. But, Nargis has had to fight for her dreams all her life - both on and off the field.

 

"After a long period of restrictions, they [Hazara women] are getting more freedom. In the past, we faced a lot of oppression, but now we are getting some chance. And we're trying to get involved in every field - in universities, shops, businesses, sports. It's really great."

 

The Chief Minister of Balochistan, Jam Kamal congratulated and generously awarded the young Champion from the Hazara community, adding that “Nargis made Pakistan proud with her accomplishment”. He promised female athletes to be “provided a better atmosphere and training.”

Nargis a nationalist to the core said "I want to raise my country's flag with an Olympic Medal; to hear the national anthem being played with everyone standing up in respect! 

Nargis a nationalist to the core said "I want to raise my country's flag with an Olympic Medal; to hear the national anthem being played with everyone standing up in respect!