A tribute to a hero on the ground, from the messenger…
An incredible man I met last November in Pakistan, Waheed Khan, was murdered the other day just outside the amazing resource centre and school he tirelessly helped build and run in one of the poorest and most dangerous enclaves in Karachi.
A blog on my vist to that resource centre and school can be seen here on The End of Polio website or in a little more detail on my personal blog. Below is my personal, slightly self centred response to Waheed’s death after a very gratifying week of giving Global Poverty Project presentations in schools and Rotary Clubs in Adelaide.
The news report of Waheed’s murder was also covered in Saturday’s The Australian newspaper – http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/targeting-someone-who-cares-abdul-waheed-khan-a-taliban-victim/story-e6frg6so-1226645611918
Dear Waheed’s Family.
Asalam Allekum and I am very sorry to have heard about the murder of Waheed in front of the Rotary Polio Plus Community Centre in Site Town, Karachi, Pakistan.
I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a family member to murder. I still can’t imagine what it must be like to put your life in jeopardy daily for the greater good of your local community, country and the global community.
I am just a messenger for the people and programs who tackle the topics and issues to see the end of extreme poverty. As a messenger I receive a huge amount of praise and accolation for doing the work I do in education and advocacy. However the true heroes of ending extreme poverty are the people like Waheed. If it was not for Waheed and the others associated with the Polio Plus Resource Centre I wouldn’t be able to share and report on the progress and amazing stories of poverty alleviation.
Please know the joy, inspiration and empowerment I am able to receive from those who learn of the progress of our global community to combat issues of extreme poverty thanks to examples like Waheed. I have to say I feel guilty as the messenger for all of this praise but I also know and appreciate the dedication and unbelievable commitment taken by those like Waheed to see a world without extreme poverty.
Waheed’s work, dedication, commitment and passion will not be in vein – nothing will ever repay the loss of Waheed but it will usher in a legacy of one person showing that humankind will face the hurdles and oppression for the betterment of society. In my work I get to see that the balance sheet of humanity and people like Waheed completely outweigh the people who ended his life.
Please accept my deepest sympathy and from the 25,000 people I have presented to in the past four years sharing the work and commitment of people such as Waheed.
Waheed’s life, commitment and work has brought about positive outcomes and futures for so many who can live on in Waheed’s name and legacy.
It is an impossible task to contextualise the cost of a person’s life to a family but I can only hope that his family knows that Waheed will live on through so many and into the future thanks to his work and commitment…