Karachi: K-Electric’s pioneering Roshni Baji safety ambassador initiative took the center stage at Pakistan’s Pavilion of Dubai Expo 2020 on Friday, with 2 women from the first batch sharing their inspirational journey at the “Women of Pakistan: Leading a Change” event. Organized by the Employers’ Federation of Pakistan (EFP).
These Roshni Bajis are breaking ground in a country like Pakistan where female labor force participation (FLFP) has remained the lowest in the past 2 decades as per the World Bank. According to the reports, FLFP in Pakistan’s power sector hovers around 4%.
The program was conceived in line with the UN’s 5th Sustainability Development Goal (SDG 5) that aims to achieve gender equality and women empowerment by the year 2030 and it is also in aligned with the vision of NEPRA’s “Power with Prosperity” program which focuses on uplifting the society at large.
The program is co-powered by Guarantco and is launched in collaboration with Children for Concern (CFC).
Abeera Almas and Zara Afshan, the two speakers at the event, were part of the first cohort of 40 women inducted from across Karachi in February 2021. Over the next 6 months, these women collectively reached out to over 100,000 households in Karachi’s most vulnerable communities, creating awareness on safety hazards within premises which posed a risk to residents and were easily preventable.
Furthermore, the Roshni Baji program provided KE access to a key demographic of its female customer base which was previously hindered due to societal barriers.
Sharing her delight to be a part of this illustrious occasion, Abeera Almas said, “We are proud to be representing Pakistan on such a prestigious platform and share our stories with the audience.
Programs like Roshni Baji prove that if women are given the right support and opportunities, they can excel and create a space for themselves even in technical fields. We hope that other organizations also create similar programs and empower more women to enter the workforce.
We look forward to playing our part in driving Pakistan’s prosperity and reshaping its perception on the global stage.”
During this time, KE also equipped the Roshni Bajis with various skillsets such as teaching them how to ride and maintain a bike, training them in martial arts and self-defense and making them Pakistan’s first certified female electricians capable of completing the internal wiring of a house, office, or warehouse on single-phase supply.
Expressing her excitement during the event, Zara Afshan said, “It gives us tremendous joy that through this Roshni Baji Program, we have become the source of national pride. The journey towards becoming safety ambassadors was not easy, but we showed everyone that with determination and passion, it is possible.
I feel proud to be a Roshni Baji; not only have I been able to create a change in my community, but I am empowered enough to financially support my family.”
Zehra Mehdi, Director for Sustainability at K-Electric also added, “We would like to thank the Employers’ Federation of Pakistan and the organizers of the Pakistan Pavilion for providing us the opportunity to highlight our initiative.
As a progressive and innovative power utility, KE is always seeking opportunities to create value and drive socioeconomic development through grassroots engagement. We believe in empowering residents to take ownership of their communities, because this creates sustainable impact.”
Zaki Ahmed Khan – Vice President EFP also commended the initiative, stating “Pakistan is progressing quickly to become a major player in the region, and we recognize that women can play an integral role in driving this transformation.
We are proud to showcase some of these inspiring initiatives today, and we look forward to collaborating with global leaders and experts to help Pakistan catalyze its efforts to the next level.”