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ADC Nowshera Helping Flood Victims Shows the Importance of Girls’ Education

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Nowshera, Quratul Ain Wazir, has become a hero for Pakistanis for her response to floods in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Wazir has been proactively performing her administrative duties in rescuing and evacuating hundreds of victims to safety. Devastating floods triggered by monsoon rains have affected nearly 15% of the country’s population. At least 1000 have died, and reportedly 700,000 homes have been partially or completely destroyed, along with critical city infrastructure. Many volunteers and humanitarians have been raising funds and helping the victims as much as possible. Initially, the government faced huge criticism since it was focused on just power politics. ADC Nowshera is one of the few government representatives whose vigilance and proactive measures have helped save the lives of citizens. In a time when only relief organizations like Al-Khidmant were in the limelight, seeing a civil servant doing her job to avert the maximum damage was indeed something unique.

Pictures of ADC Nowshera Helping Flood Victims

Many Pakistanis have shared pictures on social media showing Wazir reaching out to flood victims and leading them to safety. In a strictly conservative province like KPK, the images of ADC Nowshera at work were educational material on their own. There is a common misconception in many parts of the world that women cannot do hard work like men. Pakistan is one of those parts where several parents still try to stop their daughters from reaching their potential. They do not allow them to study and pursue aspirations to work alongside men. Commentators argued that if those girls were allowed, they could have performed administrative duties like men or possibly better than men. They shared pictures of Wazir so the opposers of girls’ education could learn the same lesson.

Exemplary Woman Leader

ADC Nowshera made sure that she connected with her citizens in any way she could. Besides using social media to post timely updates about the flood, she made announcements in the mosque and personally reached people’s doorsteps, asking them to evacuate before the water reached the city. Reportedly for the last 5 days, she has been overseeing their safe relocation to relief camps.

Wazir’s heroic actions were an inspiration for many young women in the country, who thanked her for her selfless efforts. They said that this is why most Pakistani girls aspire to study and perform their duties with sincerity.

Mismanagement Leading to Massive Loss

There is another lesson that needs to be learned by the concerned authorities. Pakistan ranks among the top 10 countries vulnerable to climate crises despite contributing less than 1% to overall carbon emissions. The government established a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in 2005 to manage disasters by adopting a risk reduction strategy in urban development. It aimed to enhance the institutional capacity for improving emergency response, rehabilitation, and preparedness. However, the flash floods in 2010, 2011, and 2014 exposed the vulnerability of Pakistan. With no such risk reduction or preparedness strategy, the floods collectively killed 3000, caused 14.1 billion USD financial damages, and affected 30 million residents. The country called upon the international community for help as federal and provincial governments failed to provide relief to the victims.

Heavy monsoon rains are natural phenomena and beyond control, but the collaboration of government administration with cities is something that can help avert the suffering. In the case of ADC Nowshera, the fact that she effectively communicated with the citizens about what was needed is worth appreciating. Perhaps, this is the reason why people are using her example to make a case of how women civil servants can also be efficient administrators.

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