Social work is my passion: Sadia Shoaib BYYasir Habib Khan

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LAHORE: Persona of a woman as a wife of a politician is always rife with challenges. It often gets tough to strike a balance among all her multiple roles. Looking after everyday issues as a mother, sister and wife at home, working shoulder to shoulder to provide all out support to her spouse and pursuing her own professional career become daunting tasks, yet she must perform against all odds. Sadia Shoaib, wife of Shoaib Siddique (PTI politician) who clinched a landslide victory in recent by-election held at PP-147 Lahore, is among those remarkable women who prove their mettle in synchronizing politics, home management and social work.
In an exclusive interview with Centreline and DNA, she asserts that the challenges of her multiple roles are really not thrust upon her, rather she deals with them willfully, as her own desire and ambition.

“As a wife, my first priority is my husband. During his electioneering at PP-147 (provincial assembly constituency under NA-122) marked as a political flashpoint in the by-polls history of Pakistan, I stood by my life partner to provide him with pragmatic, moral and social assistance against all odds,” she adds.

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“We burnt the midnight oil and made extensive work to reach out to the people during our canvassing campaigns despite our meager resources. It was an epic battle between what she said “PML-N rigging masters and PTI team. With a humid weather, in congested areas, worn-out streets and roads, mismanaged infrastructure and 42 unofficial settlements, we also had to brave the challenges of high-handedness of federal ministers, Punjab machinery and above all massive bribery drive to buy votes.”

Eventually the credit, she praises, goes to the voters who exercised their right of franchise for virtue and made Shoaib Siqqiue win the election.

Shedding light on her political career, Mrs Sadia Shoaib says that she ventured first time as a political activist when her husband contested from PP-156 in 2004. Since then, she has geared up actively to help her husband, whenever required. When asked, she firmly preferred social work to politics. “I have no qualms to admit that I have no natural guts for politics. Instead my mental aptitude and capabilities are made for social work,” she points out frankly.

“It is my very sincere desire and from the core of my heart I want to serve the humanity,” she claims. She highlighted some of her social work achievements, she had been associated with an NGO led by Azra Sahiba, and was a member of the Lion’s Club, Saddar Cantt and have organized free medical eye camps in recent past, she added.

She underlined the need for redressing the grievances of the poor residents of her husband’s constituency. Bleeding for degrading environment, low literacy rate, health issues, youth joblessness, women plight, broken streets, brackish drinking water, defective sewerage and drainage system and massive congestion, she intends to play a positive role to help out those who are down and out.

Mrs Shoaib was highly appreciative of Mrs. Parveen Sarwar, wife of former Punjab governor and PTI staunch leader Ch. Sarwar for her social services to empowering women economically by providing them sewing machines so that they could earn a respectful livelihood. She also eulogised the outstanding country wide contributions of the legendary Abdul Sattar Edhi in the field of social welfare and talked of him as her role model.

Instead of establishing a formal NGO, she would prefer to work informally for the uplift of marginalized class especially women. Her future plans are to develop a free library and free medial camps, she elaborated and appeared very confident that for such noble social work funding is not an issue as oversees philanthropists are eager to donate.

In response to our query about negotiating challenges as a house wife, she was very articulate in describing that the sophisticated home environment, personal upbringing and innate ability to keep pace with house work and other activities help her to have a smooth sailing. “My mother died when I was 15 years old. At an early age, I had to look after my two sisters and two brothers. I also managed my studies and got MSc degree in Food and Nutrition. After marriage, my previous experience enabled me to organize the household chores with fair ease. Though upbringing of three children, caring for a husband were no easy tasks and still be a helping hand to Shoaib in his political endeavours and professional work, but I managed put everything in order,” she explains with starry eyes and smiley face.

However, she has some regrets for not pursuing a career as a nutritionist owing to her domestic and family responsibilities. She had longed to start to have a career in the fields of Food, Hygiene and Nutrition but like most women in our country had to sacrifice the desire in order meet the obligations of a married life, she added.

On a question about Shoaib Saddique’s role a husband, she was all praise for him and appreciated his all out support to her. “He encourages me to do what I desire to do. He never imposes his thoughts and views on me. He is very supportive of my social work and political accomplishments,” she says.

About PTI’s future, she slams the inside forces who are inflicting damage to the performance of the party terming them as a chink in the armour, she cautions that grouping within the party ranks has been plaguing efficiency.

She suggests that the party leader must nurture unity on priority so that every part of PTI works in harmony and in a befitting manner to produce the desired results. As a social activist, she vows to dedicate her life for changing the minds of people to materialize the dream of establishing a well-cultured, well-mannered, civilized and a prosperous society.