Parmin Gul – A widow from Mohmand Agency

Parmin’s life did not turn out the way she had wished. She was married off at the tender age of 15 years, bore two children, and was a widow at age 22. Her entire world had been torn apart. She was brought up to believe in the ideals of motherhood and the sanctity of marriage. Widowhood, hence, has had […]


Story of Sakina Bibi

Sakina Bibi, an elderly woman aged 78, lived in extreme poverty. She had no source of income and lived an impoverished life with her two disabled adult children – a son and a daughter-in-law, both deaf and dumb – and two grandchildren. She was destitute and lived off the charity of her neighbours and the […]


Sidra’s ordeal

Tears welled up in the eyes of Sidra’s father as he spoke about the illness of his 10 year-old daughter and his inability to meet the cost of her treatment. Lean, pale and restless, Sidra tossed and turned in pain on the hospital bed.  She seemed extremely undernourished and  deprived of all life’s amenities.  She seemed […]


Faiza – Victim of violence

Faiza, a recent divorcée aged 28 years, was born to a poor family. Face down, she lay motionless on the hospital bed, with both her legs fractured. One leg was plastered while the other, which had sustained multiple fractures, awaited surgery. The surgery was possible only if the financial costs were met. She had no […]


Juma Khan, the refugee

Juma Khan was forced to migrate from North Waziristan to the city of Peshawar, and a few years later, to the outskirts of Islamabad, just to make a living. He was born in Pakistan to refugee parents from Afghanistan, and despite having spent 38 years in Pakistan, was still tagged as a refugee. He was illiterate, had […]


Zulikha – 16 year old Tuberculosis (TB) patient

The ill girl is almost inevitably and sympathetically a beautiful girl with a smooth tanned complexion, dark brown eyes, dark brown hair and wearing dozens of bangles.  The hope is that she stays alive to see another autumn.  She was only 16 years old– young with a life that seemed to be full of promise, but […]


International Women’s Day

Heartfile, true to the 2013 theme of International Women’s Day – ‘A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women’ has been instrumental in reaching out to victims of violence in Pakistan. The story of a Heartfile Financing-supported patient I am about to share, although tragic, appropriately depicts today’s theme.  Her […]