Ladies & gentlemen, meet Aansoo Kohli

Aansoo Kohli is a teenaged, physically impaired girl from the minority Hindu community, living in a poor, marginalized village near the dusty town of Umerkot, in the Sindh province of Pakistan. There you are – a single sentence that totally sums up Aansoo’s apparently desperately unfortunate existence. She is a girl in a male-dominated, often misogynistic social order. That makes her a second-class citizen.

She is physically handicapped, or physically challenged as it is more ‘proper’ to say nowadays. That degrades her further to a third-class citizen status. She was born in a non-Muslim religion and hence she is a fourth-class citizen, if there can be such a classification. And then, if all this was not enough, she is also from a poor, uneducated family from the backwoods of beyond. So all in all, she should perhaps not even be counted as a citizen of this land to start with!

But despite these stark realities that destiny has directed her way, almost as if in spite, Aansoo is an exceptional girl. Is there a word for the exceptional among the exceptional? If there is one, then that’s how exceptional she is. And please do let me know what the word is.

Why is she such a rare gem of a human being? Please go on the link below and re;ad about it. I urge you to stop here, go to the link and read what is there, before you continue reading this post further. Come back to below once you have read the link. Please.

Read the story? Impressed? Moved? Perhaps even a tad ashamed on reflection of what all we have in comparison to Aansoo’s profile highlights?

All reading this who can think beyond posting rhetorical adulation on the social media about the Malalas and Aansoos of Pakistan (as the ‘right’ thing to do), are requested to (please excuse my French) put their money where their mouth is. So here’s the Plan.

  1. We start a collection for Aansoo. Rs. Five thousand is the minimum ticket. There is no maximum.
  2. Collection closes midnight of November 30.
  3. Whatever amount is collected is used to procure materials for Aansoo’s school – basic furniture for her pupils, white board, books and stationery, uniforms, etc.
  4. But before the procurement, a recce team visits her, gets more information, conducts an on-site needs assessment and then returns and reports.
  5. Materials procured, all those who wish to come along (ticket holders only!) then drive down to Aansoo’s village and in a simple ceremony, the materials are deployed.

Nothing overly-ambitious, nothing that is not totally doable. Nothing that requires permits or permissions or fancy logistics. Anyone who is indignant at the modest scale of the social intervention proposed, is more than welcome to travel on his/her own highway and do the grandiose which comes to his/her mind. Here I just want good people who do want to do more, for Aansoo and for all the down-trodden, but who, for right now, are immediately ready to go with my simple plan. Because this can really happen before even this simple resolve required weakens and withers away.

Please sign up in comments that you are in, and then Inbox me your full name and contact number.

Aansoo will never make it to the White House or to Buckingham Palace. Aansoo will never win the Nobel Prize. Her Palace is already secured in the life hereafter if you are a believer. And her Nobel Prize will be what we can do for her.

End note: Malala. Meaning: courage, bravery. Aansoo. Meaning: tear, or teardrop. Make of this what you will, and of any connection between the two meanings. Think positive.

P.S. Any friend in Express Tribune reading this, please source the contact cell number of the reporter in Umerkot.

P.P.S. Dear All, please share this post on your Facebook and on Twitter. If we can enlarge the potential for collection, let’s do it.

7 Responses to Ladies & gentlemen, meet Aansoo Kohli

  1. Hunaid says:

    I did not have to click on the Tribune link to feel shame – I felt it after reading your article. How do we Inbox you? FB, regular email, PayPal, etc….

  2. Hunaid says:

    Since I cannot be there to help out with logistics, please count on my Rs. 10000 being delivered via our classmate.

  3. Danyaal Hasan says:

    Great story, would be very happy to contribute. How do I get in touch?

    • Zohare Ali Shariff says:

      Danyaal, thank you for your message. Best is to contribute cash. Are you Karachi based? Will email you separately my contact particulars

  4. Wendy... says:

    Hello. Maybe, I’ve read about 4 articles, recently A Aansoo Kohli. Many English language speaking U.S.A. students cannot afford to attend a college. Have written, but not yet sent, some greeting cards to her cowshed/school. A public school in a slum, near another slum; hasn’t bothered to repair the “Mahalia Jackson” sign for several years. n.b., kitchen school, in the Deep South. Guess which language I stared pre-primary class in . An Episcopal convent moved to Harlem, N.Y.C., in an ecological building. Do ye know of the Christian school in Mussori, India ?

  5. Yasmin Elahi says:

    Aansoo is a ray of hope in the dark days Pakistan is facing. We need more dedicated people like her to promote education among the down trodden and also people like you who throw light on such brave efforts!

  6. Khurrram Zia Khan says:

    Zohare Sahib, now Aanso Kholi going to USA on Malala’s invitation and will be know by people all around the world. I want to congratulate you on her recognition because you are the first person to make effort to highlight her efforts. Accept my heartiest congratulations and I am sure you continue your endeavors for the society.

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