Mai compared to Gandhi and Martin Luther King
WASHINGTON:April 03: Mukhtar Mai was on Sunday compared with Mahtama Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, who made Mai famous in this country, having finally managed to get a visa to visit her at Meerwala, Pakistan, writes that “around Mukhtar Mai I sense the presence of greatness” that others might have felt around Gandhi and King. Mai runs a school and a sanctuary for women in her impoverished village. A dozen of the girls sleep in her modest house. Her bed has been given to the principal of the elementary school. The American correspondent reports meeting a seven-year-old girl who was raped by the servant of a rich family and the 39-year old Fauzia Bibi who was raped and tortured by eight men for two days to punish her family because her uncle supposedly had an affair with a woman from their clan.
The attackers are threatening to kill her unless she recants. Kristoff writes that these females, inspired by Mai, have decided to stand their ground and are risking their lives because these women are going to prosecute their attackers. “It’s a lesson in courage and civics I’ll never forget,Â” he adds.
Mai arranges legal assistance for these women and helps them in many other ways. She has also arranged medical care for a woman whose nose was cut off as punishment for something she had done. Mai goes from door to door to urge parents to send their daughters to her school, which only goes up to the 4th class. Kristoff says he had the “honour” of addressing the “graduation ceremony” at Mai’s school, where one Khalid Aftab Sulehri described Mai as “the mother of the nation”, a title that had so far remained exclusive to Fatima Jinnah.
Source: Daily Times