KARACHI: Nine-year-old Zymal Umar is the founder of an inspiring social project called Zee Bags -- an endeavor that not only aims to help the underprivileged but also the environment.
In an attempt to clear the streets of her beautiful city Sargodha of plastic bags, Zymal decided to start making reusable bags using old newspapers.
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Speaking to The Express Tribune, Zymal recalled a shopping trip with her parents three years ago that first planted the idea in her head. Distracted by the sight of plastic bags on the streets, she was taken over by feelings of disappointment and thoughts about the harmful repercussions of plastic pollution.
Then all of a sudden, serendipitously, her attention was caught by a shopkeeper handing out newspaper bags to his customers. Deeply inspired by the idea, Zymal decided to take action and make a desired change.
Since then, Zymal has managed to sell hundreds of bags, use her profits to buy essential items for underprivileged children belonging to SOS village, and make contributions to other charitable foundations.
Zymal says she finds fulfillment and enjoyment in the work she does. She puts in a lot of effort into each of her pieces, decorating the bags with different stones and flowers. She says her parents have been her greatest support, turning her ideas turn into reality.
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Studying at the Beacon House School System Sargodha, the nine-year-old successfully manages to find a balance between her goals to alleviate poverty, save the environment and achieve academic success. She says in the future, along with pursuing higher education, she hopes to inspire others and take her project to a global level.
Being Pakistan’s youngest social entrepreneur, Zymal has been awarded the TIE, the youngest entrepreneurship award and received a gold medal from the Federal Secretary of Education in Pakistan. Her efforts have also been recognised in Saudi Arabia, where she was invited to receive the Prince Abdul Aziz Award for Children Pioneer/Ecopreneur.
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The young entrepreneur says she plans to launch a website and a mobile application in the near future to expand her reach to a wider customer base. You can find more information and help Zymal by contacting her on her Facebook page, Zee Bags.