Anita Ghulam Ali was a multi-dimensional personality who not only dedicated her life to education but also actively supported trade unions for workers' rights, said Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) CEO Karamat Ali at a condolence meeting held by the organisation at Piler Centre on Saturday.
The meeting was held to pay tribute to the late educationist and intellectual, who had also been a former education minister and a former Labour Coordination Committee vice chairperson.
Anita played a prominent role in improving the standard of education in Sindh and founded the Sindh Education Foundation (SEF) under the provincial government towards that goal. 'Adopt a School' was an innovative idea that succeeded in improving government schools in Sindh. SEF also adopted learning centres for working children in the SITE area.
Pointing out that Anita dedicated her life to the betterment of education and the society, Karamat remarked that her footprints should be followed and her services continued. "Article 25-A is a part of the Constitution, and we should ask the government why serious measures to implement it have not been taken," he said.
Karamat also remembered her as a bold and straightforward woman who never compromised upon her principles. He added that Anita, a founder member of Piler, had continued her participation in the organisation's activities despite her phyical disabilities.
"It is a pity that we do not remember heroes, such as Anita," commented Pakistan Study Centre's chairperson, Dr Jaffar Ahmed, remembering her English bulletins on Radio Pakistan. "She was a rare combination of political activism and intellectualism."
Educationist Dr Jamal Naqvi said that although Anita belonged to a rich, educated family, she always advocated for the right of education for poor children.
Anita was always active for the rights of workers and courageously fought for the rights of teachers many times, said trade union leader Habibuddin Junaidi, who had worked with her in the Workers Rabita Committee during the Zia government.
"Anita did not only influence educationists or intellectuals," said Junaidi. "Her struggle proved that she stood with every section of society."
Piler member Zeenat Hisam recalled that Anita was active in women's organisations as well as art and culture. "Despite being wheelchair-bound, she participated in activities in many sectors," she said.
"We should carry forward her mission and work towards education for all," said Lateef Mughal of the People's Labour Federation.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2014.
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