The month of October is now so closely identified with breast cancer that it is commonly referred to as ‘Pinktober’. It is dedicated to celebrating life, spreading awareness, and going pink in support of the fight against breast cancer. When it comes to Pakistan, this becomes crucial as one out of nine women is at risk of developing this disease. Unfortunately, due to low female literacy, cultural beliefs, taboos, myths and misconceptions, early detection and treatments becomes an obstacle. It is due to this fact that spreading awareness of breast cancer has become a necessity.
In light of this, Pink Ribbon Pakistan launched its nationwide breast cancer awareness drive since 2004. This year, with #SaveThe9th theme, it hinges around sensitising the society to support the charity in building Pakistan’s first dedicated breast cancer hospital. The cost estimated for the hospital is at 500 million PKR, and they are continuing to raise funds for this noble cause.
Recently, a fundraising event was held which presented a theatre evening at a local hotel in Karachi; attracting top corporate sponsors, donors, supporters and advertisers to support this good cause. The event featured a short presentation by CEO Omer Aftab, who narrated the journey of the campaign and announced the Pink Ribbon Hospital in Lahore to be functioning by December 2019. Mehnaz Nadeem, Chairperson of the Karachi chapter, followed that by thanking the sponsors and contributors of the cause.
Haseena Moin, renowned scriptwriter, was present at the event and shared her cancer story, “Since childhood to my graduation, I was always dressed in pink. Little did I know that this colour would represent something so grave for me. I struggled with this deadly disease for around nine years and for five years I was bedridden; but, I had the love and support of my family, friends and fans who helped me through. Now, when I look back, I can’t fathom that I went through such an ordeal. I pray for the speedy recovery for anyone who is going through this condition and I hope they never have to go through it again. If I can heal so can everybody else.”
After that, Manto’s play ‘Badshahat ka Khatma’ was performed for the audience. It was directed by Khalid Ahmad, and adapted for stage by Bee Gul. The play was a tragic tale of Manmohan (Tariq Raja) who practically lives on a footpath but has to live in his friend’s abandoned office temporarily. There, he falls for an anonymous female caller (Kaif Ghaznavi) and yearns to listen to her voice on a regular basis.
The play was riveting and the exceptional performance of the actors kept the audience hooked till the end. The evening ended with dinner and a raffle round with exciting gifts and giveaways for the attendees.
- Adeela Akmal