In Karachi’s Lyari, girls break barriers one punch at a time | Pakistan

As the world celebrates Women's Day 2018, impressive women in poor Lary Karachi continue to struggle for gender barriers – one blow at a time.

The day started with luck when I found out about the women's boxing contest that took place later in the day on Karyri land in Lari.

Hardly can I restrain my amazement, the rest of the day was held pending 17:00 and represented women from the impoverished area of ​​the city

Fighting with the cork and driving half a mile to our trip on the occupied 2nd road of Chundrigar, I mostly inhabit people of Baloch's ethnicity, doing sports, which many do not choose as a profession or pastime. I heard a few cats, but I was ready for it. What was waiting for us, having reached the meeting place, was a real surprise.

The teams of women boxers from Quetta and Karachi settled in Lari "Kakri Earth".

More than 50 women dressed in their sports equipment, complete with scarves covering their heads, cheer boxers in the ring.

I blink twice to make myself believe I'm in the same vicinity of the metropolis where I thought that women would not be able to leave their homes for activities classified as recreation;

Female boxers of all ages, from six to 30 years old, welcome us in high spirits. Their excitement to meet a woman dressed in western clothes, sporting short hair and traces (quite a lot) of makeup (because of the appearance on the camera) were obvious.

I am offended by questions about my profession, after which many innocent assumptions about the fact that I are different … if only they could be told enough times that they are not the ones who

Photo of the author with boxers, folded fists.

"Take our photos and run them on Geo TV," said Fatima Ismael, one of the most shy boxers who drove all the way from the inner eastern suburb of Quetta in Mariabad, in response to

Ismael, who belongs to the Khazar community, has been practicing during the past eight months in the sports complex of Taji-Khan on the Alamdar Quetta road. [1]

"I have not won yet match, but I know I will, "she confidently tells me, (19459003)

The majority of boxers, local residents of the surroundings of Lari, support families that encourage participation in this sport. Even more surprising was the belief that many of the players exude their sign language. , they have no reason to be anything other than how they behave.

Boxer Maria with her mother Shazie (left) and Malayka, posing for a picture (19459010)

Not only are families extremely supportive, the neighborhood also sincerely believes Are the dreams and aspirations of these women.

"My neighbors and family [extended] have never been discouraged," the young Maria tells me. Outside the cell, her mother Shazia shares her desire for her daughter to break all barriers and make a name for herself and Pakistan. She shies away from the camera when I ask her to write it down, but, at my insistence, agrees and quickly adds her veil.

When we move forward to take a group photo of all the boxers, I ask the boy to move away from the benches. My request is met with a squeal of laughter, as Malika's father, smiling at my mistake, not only corrects my assumption of her kind, but also tells me that she is a contestant.

Young Azmina said that no female boxer in her family forced her to do sports as a profession and to prove that women are no less than men.

As his daughter continues to smile with all the attention received by my commentary, Zahid shares his experience and travel all the way from Quetta to Karachi.

"Malayka won twelve championships in general," he says proudly in his voice. "How will we make a name for ourselves until our talented daughters and sisters go out and test their limits?"

Coach of the Larya Boxing Club and her coach team to tease Malayka about her short "boyish" hair, and after a few laughs, the father's defensive instinct enters into a conversation.

"Look at the short hair of Madame [points at me] it does not matter! She looks good, and so are you … everything you need to focus on is your diet. Champions can not survive with eating habits like yours, "he says, before silently warning me that he will confirm the same message.

Coach Lary's boxing club and her own trainer teamed up to tease Malayka with her short "boyish" hair, but after a few laughs the father's defensive instinct jumped into the conversation. "Look at the short hair of Madame [points at me] it does not matter! She looks good, and so are you … everything you need to focus on is your diet, "Zahid told his daughter.

The matches end just before sunset, and I'll close my wristwatch and go back to work, where my editor's clock is ticking loudly until I write my story. But there is one more boxer waiting outside. I ignore my biological clock, roaring to me that it is time to return home and in bed and invite Razia Abdul Aziz to the ring for an interview.

She asks me if I want her to speak English or Urdu, and then quickly began to speak at first when she told me about her ambitions.

"Boxing is my life", she answers the question about what sport means to her.

"My teacher Sir Shahid Ahmed Khan told me that if you are alive, you will face difficulties," Razia said, hoping to win gold at the Olympics in the near future, with visible sparks in her eyes.

"I won eleven of the twelve matches I participated in," says Razia. Among her other achievements is a gold medal in the first women's championship, recently held in Lahore.

Fatigue, drowsiness and hunger by now, I ask her the same question that I asked all participants – have you encountered any problems, any obstacles to live your dream of becoming a boxer?

. Her response made me think how a few women from the neighborhood, struggling to redefine themselves, have broken all the barriers, will come what may.

"My teacher, Sir Shahid Ahmed Khan, told me that if you are alive, you will face challenges," Razia said, hoping to win gold at the Olympics in the near future, with visible sparks in her eyes.

"Champions never make excuses, and excuses never make champions".

Video editing by Abdul Aziz Suomro and visual effects of Hasim uz Zaman. The author works on and tweets on @anika_javaid

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