Islamabad: The family of late Pakistani pop star Nazia Hassan, whose single “Aap Jaisa Koi” for Bollywood movie “Qurbaani” catapulted her to fame, is planning to open a school for underprivileged children in Karachi.
The school, an initiative by the ‘Nazia Hassan Foundation’, would help in the grooming and education of working street children, Muniza Basir, mother of the famous Pakistani pop artist, whose death anniversary was observed on August 13, told the Dawn.
“We are working towards establishing a school here in Karachi, but this is not just any other school in Pakistan. It is specifically dedicated to the grooming and education of working children on the streets – who have been burdened with the expectation of earning for their entire families at the expense of their own education,” said Muniza Basir said in an interview.
“Our school aspires to offer these children a course on whatever they are already doing as a profession, while also teaching them basic subjects such as English, Mathematics, computer skills and History. The aim is to brush up skills that would help them flourish in their profession, while also being capable of going and taking up their work in any other place,” she said.
Nazia’s mother said she is pursuing her daughter’s wish that every Pakistani child must be able to earn a living while also get educated.
“We will be offering a five-year course for our students, and have been reaching out to universities who can authorise and give these students a diploma.”
The project has been entirely self-funded as “I have got help from my husband,” said Muniza.
The family is using their own building to set up a learning centre for children, Muniza is hopeful that others will join hands with them so that they can open more schools in other parts of the country.
The tentative name for the school is the ‘Nazia Hassan Foundation’, but it may change to Nazia Hassan’s Schools for Studying, adds Muniza.
Nazia died due to lung cancer at the age of 35 in London on August 13, 2000.
She ruled the music field in Pakistan during the 1980s. The first face of pop in Pakistan, Nazia was born in Karachi on April 3, 1965.
When she rendered “Aap Jaisa Koi”, she was just 15 years old.
Nazia, along with her brother Zohaib, released the evergreen album “Disco Deewana” (1981). This was followed by “Boom Boom”, “Young Tarang “(1984), “Hotline” (1987) and finally “Camera, Camera” (1992).
She was the youngest and first Pakistani to win a Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer — at age 15.
She worked as a political analyst for the UN in New York and became a cultural ambassador for Pakistan in 1991.