Bihari lady with a difference

Mahjabeen Sarwar is a lady with a difference. She was born and brought up and now lives with her husband and family in Patna, the capital of Bihar. The daughter of Abdul Hameed, a head clerk at Patna’s G.P.O., Mahjabeen studied at the Madrasa Sulaimania in Patna city, and eventually acquired a Fazil degree, equivalent to a conventional master of arts.

Sarwar says” I do social work because it gives me happiness, and a feeling of fulfillment. I aim to deliver what people need, for instance, if a woman is hungry, employment to continuously satisfy her hunger, or if a child desires an education, the means to study. Safeenah is an Urdu word denoting a boat. You could say my slogan is “besaharon ko manzil tak pahunchana” – reach the helpless to their desired destination. I achieve this via Safeenah – my platform, my boat.

In November 2006, she was conferred the Rani Laxmi Bai of Jhansi, Stree Shakti Puraskar for her outstanding work in the area of woman empowerment in the year 2002. She was actually singled out for fighting for justice for exploited women. Mahjabeen thus made a record – by becoming the first Muslim woman receive this award. Read here for more on how she feels about this recognition, why she was given the award and whether she has faced any difficulties along the way.

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