My father was a banker and he was posted to Abu Dhabi so I spent my childhood there. I have studied from London. I’m a lawyer by profession. When someone asks me, what do I do? for a while I keep silent.
I work in the jails and help the prisoners who think that they are innocent and ones who are regretful for whatever they’ve done in their past. I give them free service. In 2003 when I was 18 years old, my grandfather established an institute in women central jail Karachi. I had to do an internship so I thought to join it. During my internship, I met a girl name ‘Nasreen’ there. She was sentenced to 25 years on charges of kidnapping.
She was a bit educated; she used to write letters for other prisoners who could not read or write; to get connected with their families. With the passage of time, our friendship got stronger but my internship ended and I moved on with life. Now, it’s been 14 years since we are friends and in these 14 years, I have changed a lot.
I started having expensive meals but she’s still having the same ‘Daal’ every day for 14 years. I got married, have two children and travelled across the world but she’s still there in a small cell of jail. However, she still does not have any hatred or anger for anyone. Her courage and resilience inspired me and she is the reason; I started fighting for prisoners. I believe that any poor prisoner, who’s regretful of his crime, should be given a free and a good lawyer. My life got a new purpose. I decided to win justice for innocent prisoners like ‘Nasreen’.
Today I’m proud to say that I’m managing biggest legal act program in South Asia.
I visit more than 20 jails and in last 8 years, I have freed 10,000 prisoners. My friends ask why do I have to fight for the sinners? I think, every person makes mistakes and everyone deserves a given second chance. I fight to get them justice because I know how much freedom matters to a person. I realized soon that it’s not enough to only give them a free lawyer. They need to be educated on how to approach the law. I was the first person to introduce education in prison. Today in Sindh, more than 800 prisoners are informal paralegals.
They know family law, property law, jail laws and know about court and appeal.
Freedom is everyone’s right. I had faced many challenges throughout my journey and still do but I will keep fighting for them.