Dr. Kamran Ahmad:
Dr. Kamran has a PhD in South Asian Spirituality in addition to other degrees in various disciplines from the USA, and he has taught both Religion and psychology at universities in the USA and Pakistan. Beyond academic settings, however, he has traveled around the world over the last three decades, exploring various spiritual traditions, including various Sufi Orders. He is therefore able to pull out the essential elements of spirituality that underlie the different forms, and identify them in the everyday life of Pakistan. He has also been involved with the civil society of Pakistan over the years and has been working as a Clinical Psychologist with the International Civil Services for the past decade.
Dr. Fouzia Saeed:
Dr. Fouzia Saeed, a social scientist with a PhD from the University of Minnesota, who has repeatedly raised issues when it was not acceptable to talk about them. Her book on prostitution, Taboo! (OUP, 2001-reissued 2011), The Hidden Culture of a Red Light Area,” based on 8 years of field research among prostitutes in Pakistan, provoked a national debate on women’s mortality. Her recent book, Forgotten Faces (Lok Virsa 2011), describes the paradox of fame and stigma faced by the female stars of Pakistan’s folk theater. Her work on women in slavery, women’s mobility and violence against women also helped Pakistani society to recognize these issues when they were only unspoken truths. She has worked for the United Nations and other international development organizations. She is a founding member of Mehergarh, a human rights institute.
Ms. Maliha Husain:
Ms. Maliha Husain is the Executive Director at Mehergarh: A Center for Learning, a non-profit organization working on human rights, with a special focus on the rights of women. Maliha Husain has twenty plus years’ experience of working on women’s issues in Pakistan and the United States. Her areas of focus are Human Rights, Gender & Development and Economic Development. In the States, she was more involved in the economic development of women, including Micro enterprise Development and Micro Finance. Her recent work is focused on gender equality and creating dignified work environments in Pakistan. She is actively involved in the nationwide implementation of anti-sexual harassment legislation; the two laws that were passed by the Government of Pakistan in the beginning of 2010.
Mr. Veerji Kohli:
A human rights defender originally from the Nagarparkar area. In his childhood he experienced the harsh realities of bonded labor himself. Veerji aims to end the evil of bonded labor from Nagar and Tharparar region by challenging the illegal practices in the feudal system there. He took a stand against many landlords and got thousands of men, women and children released from illegal bondage. He raised countless questions on issues of minorities, women and vulnerable communities. He introduced solar penal for producing electricity and water filtration plant for clean water in his village. Veerji became the Chairman of Berano union council of Tharparkar after winning elections as an independent candidate and later joined Pakistan People Party. His broader struggle for the rights and the uplift of communities in the region continues.