Obit of the Day: Killing Her for Kindness
Parveen Rehman was shot and killed by four unknown gunman in Karachi, Pakistan on March 13, 2013. She was virtually unknown outside of her home nation but within the Islamic republic she was known as a champion for the poor.
Ms. Rehman joined the Orangi Pilot Project in 1982 to work in local Katchi abadis, “poor people’s housing.”Although these abadis are home to 15 million residents of Pakistan’s capital, Karachi (which has a total population of 21 million), they do not officially exist. The Orangi abadi has one million residents.
The Orangi Pilot Project - which is composed of three separate organizations - worked to bring basic sanitation, clean water, and education to the residents. This was done by encouraging the residents to undertake much of the infrastructure development themselves.
Ms. Rehman personally fought corruption in a very corrupt city. She publicly challenged those who stole the public water supply as well as the those taking abadi land. As Karachi grew it absorbed the land on which abadis stood, then speculators would come in, take the land, throw off the residents and sell it at a profit.
Ms. Rehman, who once called in a group of rival gunman to face off against previous attackers because the police were not reliable, was 56 years old when she was murdered.
Sources: NPR (with a great interview by Steve Inskeep), BBC, Dawn.com, and The Orangi Pilot Project
(Image of Ms. Rehman is from NPR and taken by Tracy Wahl - who corrected me very nicely. Follow her!)
Also take time to read about former Mexican mayor Maria Santos Gorrostieta who was assassinated in 2012.