Meet Pakistan’s first Thari Engineer- A drop of rain in a parched desert

Encouragement from any source is like a drop of rain in a parched desert. This saying depicts a true picture of “Kiran Sadhwani” who is Pakistan’s First Female Thari Engineer at Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company’s (SECMC) Thar Coal Project. 

Kiran Sadhwani, 23 hails from Mithi, a town of District Tharparkar, Sindh. After getting her primary education from South City School Mithi, Kiran applied for a 4 year BE program in University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) and got admission there. Though during her studies, she did not receive any resistance until she got selected in Thar Coal Project as a Trainee Engineer.

Breaking stereotypes

It was then she got immense criticism from the Thari community as no woman in the history of Thar opted to work as an Engineer in any such project. All the girls living there opted for medical field and teaching and this is the reason because of which Kiran faced some difficulties but later on she carried it on with the support of her family.

This is what she says about this:

“I was opposed by Thari community because I did not choose medical or teaching field but I chose engineering. And I chose it deliberately not just to make difference but also because I was saw vast opportunities in the field of engineering. Changing the mindset of Thar community was the biggest challenge I had to face”

A Passion Journey

According to Kiran, she loves technological advancements, innovation and automation and engineering was the field in which she saw her dream coming true.

After completing her graduation in 2016, she applied for some private jobs in IT companies in Karachi and Hyderabad and also applied for Trainee Engineer in Thar Coal Project through Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and got selected.

“The selection process was too hard and after meeting criteria and screening I was offered the job at Thar Coal Field. Though I was confused first as it was against the built mindset of Thar community but later I accepted the offer”

She said she is extremely grateful to SECMC for giving her the opportunity to prove herself and to not discourage her by saying that she is not compatible for the job being a woman.

“SECMC has not just given me this opportunity but it has also shown the world that Thari women can do wonders and are not any less passionate than other women”

She also told during the interview that many other women are also paying their contribution in transforming Thar into a developed area by doing jobs as drivers.

In answering a question regarding “Workplace environment” and “Working with men”, she said;

“There is nothing I have to fear here as SECMC has provided me with very comfortable environment and I have never ever felt a bit of hostile behavior from my fellow workers. In fact, they have always encouraged and supported me during work and endured my family about my safety as my father was a bit hesitant in leaving me here at first”

She told that her family has always been supportive to her and her father is happy to see her working there and serving her motherland.

Advice for other women

Kiran while sharing her story said that she is proud of her decision and has never felt that she took the wrong career path. In fact, she said she wonder why other women don’t choose such fields where they can perform as better as men.

“The concept that women are too weak to be considered for such positions has become an old tale now. The world is changing for women not ideally at fast pace but gradually”

Companies like SECMC in Pakistan are promoting the participation of women in the workplace and are choosing them meritoriously, she said.

“The women of Thar are resilient. They must stand with men, shoulder to shoulder in transforming Tharparkar region into a land of opportunities”

It is a proven truth indeed that Pakistani women are no less than the women around the globe and are meritoriously pursuing their passion in many different fields. Women are paying their contributions in every field.

Women are doctors, philanthropists, educationists, social activists, lawyers, judges, ministers, entrepreneurs, engineers, fighters, sportswomen, pilots, writers, filmmakers and what not. They have become whatever they wanted to be.  And this is what Kiran Sadhwani emphasizes on;

“You should be what you want to be”

The writer is a Media Graduate and a Broadcast Journalist by profession. She has a keen interest in reading, storytelling, writing and possesses a critical view of the various dilemmas of Pakistani society, especially those concerned with the oppression of women. Follow her on Twitter.

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