International public policy and gender reforms specialist Salman Sufi received the Mother Teresa Award in Mumbai on Sunday for his work on women empowerment in Pakistan over the past four years.
Salman took to Twitter to make the announcement and shared pictures of himself attending the event and receiving the award.
Honored to accept the #MotherTeresaAwards today in #Mumbai– Dedicate this award to countless survivors of violence who deserve our support. Let’s wage a war on Violence against Women together- #Pakistan #India #Bangladesh #SriLanka #Saarc pic.twitter.com/9m6eiGp7yL
— Salman Sufi (@SalmanSufi7) October 21, 2018
Sufi, who authored the Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act 2016, has a number of projects under his belt. He helped conceptualise South Asia’s first one-stop help centre (Violence Against Women Centre) for female survivors of violence as well as launched Pakistan’s first campaign for women’s mobility called Women on Wheels.
According to a press release, Sufi in his acceptance speech paid tribute to Mother Teresa and the countless women who face abuse but are unable to seek justice. He termed the status of women in Pakistan and India as alarming and asked both countries to work on eliminating violence against women.
Sufi also credited former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif for his support in the implementation of his women empowerment reforms.
Shedding light on his future plans, Sufi shared that he is planning to establish a network of his projects in all SAARC countries so an entire ecosystem of women’s empowerment can be established across the South Asia region.
The award, conferred by the Harmony Foundation and Missions of Charity, also lauded the works of other activists including Shirin Ebadi (Nobel Laureate- 2003), Tawakkol Karman (Nobel Laureate- 2011), First Lady of Afghanistan Rula Ghani, Yeonmi Park ─ a North Korean refugee, Founder of Bring Back Our Girls Oby Ezekwesili, Nobel Laureate, Yazidi refugee and UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking Nadia Murad, and CEO and Founder of Pyramedia Dr Nashwa Al-Ruwaini.
The award ceremony in Mumbai was attended by several prominent personalities including Mahesh Bhatt, Dr Abraham Mathai, Rizwan Merchant and Bollywood stars.