Kiran Sadhwani is the first Thari female engineer at Thar Coal Project

Published: October 3, 2017
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Kiran Sadhwani is the only female engineer working at the Thar Coal Fields. PHOTO: COURTESY DEEPAK AKASH

Kiran Sadhwani is the only female engineer working at the Thar Coal Fields. PHOTO: COURTESY DEEPAK AKASH

The 23-year-old is the first woman from her community to attend a university. PHOTO: COURTESY DEEPAK AKASH Kiran Sadhwani's family was initially opposed to her living near the work site but eventually gave in. PHOTO: COURTESY DEEPAK AKASH Kiran Sadhwani is the only female engineer working at the Thar Coal Fields. PHOTO: COURTESY DEEPAK AKASH

THARPARKAR: When Kiran Sadhwani opted to study engineering she had no idea that one day she would have the privilege of becoming the first Thari girl to be appointed an engineer at the Thar Coal Project and that her dream to serve her region would come true.

After completing her BS from Mehran University of Engineering Technology, Sadhwani applied for the job after she learnt of openings in the project. She could have easily gotten a job in Karachi or another big city after graduation but she preferred to work for her region and serve her community.

Talking to The Express Tribune, the 23-year-old said she was selected out of a pool of 4,000 candidates about eight months ago. The recruiting process was tedious and, after each stage, she feared she would fail, but she continued to pass every process successfully. “I proved that a Thari girl is equally competent, despite all the issues she faces in the region.”

The 23-year-old is the first woman from her community to attend a university. PHOTO: COURTESY DEEPAK AKASH

The 23-year-old is the first woman from her community to attend a university. PHOTO: COURTESY DEEPAK AKASH

Out of 25 successful candidates, Sadhwani is the only female working at the site. “When I came for the final interview my father insisted I would have to commute every day as he wouldn’t allow me to live near the site where many other officers and workers live,” she said.

“I wanted to reside at the site so I could visit the mining site easily and learn in the field. I didn’t want to live in my comfort zone by just confining myself to office work so I persuaded my father to allow me to stay there,” she explained.

Sadhwani’s father, who then visited the site and met the officials at the site, allowed his daughter to live there. Now Sadhwani visits her home in Mithi every fortnight. “I was over the moon as I had got the opportunity and a platform to prove myself,” she said. In Tharparkar women are kept in their comfort zones and Kiran wanted to leave hers.

In a first, women replacing men in truck-driving jobs in Thar coal mine

“Just like most parents, my parents also wanted me to study medical as engineering was too difficult a profession for a girl. It was the first challenge I faced but after continued efforts I succeeded in persuading them,” she explained. “I told them it’s not just medical or teaching professions where women can work and excel. It is actually their passion that leads to success,” Sadhwani said.

It is very important to change peoples’ mind-set, which is not an easy job in Thar, not even for the hundreds of non-governmental organisations working in the region.

Kiran Sadhwani's family was initially opposed to her living near the work site but eventually gave in. PHOTO: COURTESY DEEPAK AKASH

Kiran Sadhwani’s family was initially opposed to her living near the work site but eventually gave in. PHOTO: COURTESY DEEPAK AKASH

Sadhwani, who belong to the Lohana – a Hindu community – was the first girl in her community to study engineering or even to attend a university. Born into a middle class family in Mithi, she received her primary and intermediate education in her hometown and later went on to study at Mehran University of Engineering Technology.

Apart from her work, Sadhwani loves to volunteer. For the first time in the country’s history, when the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) launched its Female Dump Truck Driver Programme near the town of Islamkot in Thar, Sadhwani visited several villages to motivate women to apply for the job and empower themselves. “Not all women who are working as dumper drivers are poor or in dire need of money. It is just that they want to work and earn a living for themselves and improve the lives of their families,” she explained.

Sadhwani loves to play table tennis, read books and listen to music. In the future, she hopes to continue to work for Thar’s prosperity and development.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • YP Mississauga
    Oct 3, 2017 - 10:25AM

    Congratulations to you and your parents,
    Wishing you all the very best.Recommend

  • ethicalman
    Oct 3, 2017 - 10:40AM

    Be safe Hindu girl.. Recommend

  • Mujahid Hussain
    Oct 3, 2017 - 10:58AM

    pleased to read about kirn sadhwani. carry on dear,this is your country and you have the same
    privilege and rights like other pakistani ladies.good luck and stay blessed.Recommend

  • Khurram Saeed
    Oct 3, 2017 - 11:01AM

    Best of luckRecommend

  • Pekhawar Khan
    Oct 3, 2017 - 12:18PM

    Very proud to hear that. Dear Kiran, don’t stop!Recommend

  • Milind
    Oct 3, 2017 - 1:07PM

    Stay safe Hindu girl. You might be kidnapped, raped and forcibly converted by some terrorist. best wishes…Recommend

  • ahmed
    Oct 3, 2017 - 2:06PM

    Welldone!! CongratulationsRecommend

  • Maryam Bano
    Oct 3, 2017 - 2:41PM

    Well done .Best of luck for your futureRecommend

  • HSE Specialist
    Oct 3, 2017 - 2:49PM

    Posing for a Picture on Job Site without Basic Safety precautions taken. No safety glasses, sleeves are short and non safety shoes. She herself is an imminent danger to this project:)Recommend

  • Muteeb
    Oct 3, 2017 - 3:04PM

    You are the real face of Pakistan! Kiran.Recommend

  • Sana
    Oct 3, 2017 - 3:06PM

    Delightful read on many levels, Ishrat. Congratulations!!! And keep it up. Recommend

  • abid
    Oct 3, 2017 - 4:09PM

    Shabash BetiRecommend

  • Sara
    Oct 3, 2017 - 5:15PM

    Huge respect for you and your family. CommendableRecommend

  • Azam jan Khakhan
    Oct 3, 2017 - 6:49PM

    Well done! Congratulations Kiran SadhwaniRecommend

  • Bheesham kumar
    Oct 3, 2017 - 10:05PM

    Well done keep it up Recommend

  • Musarrat farooqui
    Oct 3, 2017 - 11:18PM

    Well done Kiran you have a bright future not only for you but thari women also. You are a beacon of light in the tunnel.Recommend

  • Tatheer Ahmed
    Oct 4, 2017 - 3:47AM

    Congratulations a great achievment and thanks to the company which encouraged her and the other women,Recommend

  • Max
    Oct 4, 2017 - 4:24AM

    Congratulations! You made it. Proud of you young lady. Recommend

  • ahsan
    Oct 4, 2017 - 9:53AM

    Bravo!

    Best of Luck hard working ladyRecommend

  • kashan
    Oct 4, 2017 - 2:56PM

    Kudos! Best of luck ahead dear.Recommend

  • AQ
    Oct 4, 2017 - 3:03PM

    @Milind:
    She is safe, as long as she is not living in India.Recommend

  • muhammad saif ur rehman
    Oct 5, 2017 - 12:36AM

    Just great!Recommend

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