Hello there!!! I am Sehrish Kanwal, a 22-year-old individual from Damas, Puniyal. I am the founder and CEO of “Life Journals”, a women lead media house (the idea is a new startup). Currently I am working on my final research of bachelors in “Media and Communication” from Karakoram International University, Gilgit, I am the topper of my class. I have been working as a citizen journalist for the last four years and was recently awarded as the Citizen Journalist winner for 2022, which was organized by “Media Matters for Democracy”. I am also working with public news, the Karakorum Magazine, Radio Pakistan, GB GWM, and several other organizations as a freelance journalist. Additionally, I worked with the Pakistan Peace Collective and was awarded as the Peace Ambassador. Moreover, I am a newscaster, anchor person, columnist, and a social activist. I have been working with “Lincoln Corners” as “Friend of Corner”, a project of the US embassy.
As a normal person, sometimes onlookers find it hard to believe that I work with an Organization of Persons with Disabilities (OPD). Well, I am aware of the challenges PWDs face daily, and I have always been passionate about working for PWDs. Being a journalist, I wanted to be the voice of PWDs as our society often overlooks PWDs in day-to-day life.
Currently, I am working as Information Secretary with GB GWM. I was one of the founding members of this organization. Initially, it was decided to launch it as a society in KIU University, but later on we formally registered it as an NGO. Since joining GB GWM, I amplify their concerns through videos, articles, films etc. I want a society where PWDs are treated equally, with dignity and not an object of pity. I will always be in an alliance with the PWD community and stand by them through thick and thin.
I have worked on a couple of videos which revolve around PWDs; “Challenges faced by PWDs during COVID” and “Health facilities for PWDs by GB Government”. I directed “Ways of Seeing”, a documentary film, which is under the supervision of SOC films and Scottish Documentary Institute. I also do media coverage, there is this OPD named as “Dar Ul Hunar”, I covered the media for this organization a few times.
Some people use PWDs as a source of leisure to fish for more likes and hearts on social media, but I believe it to be so low of a human behavior. I believe in amplifying one’s voice for a noble cause. While working with GB GWM and in other capacities, I have come across multiple PWDs and let me assure you, they don’t want you to pity them, they want you to make your ableist society inclusive and accessible for everyone so they can go on about their daily activities.
To the public, don’t judge a person because of their disability. Talk to them, befriend them, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to find a friend in them for life.
I would like to talk about a report I did on a mentally disabled person. He was being caged by his mother, upon investigating we came to know that his mother preferred caging him because he was being harassed by people. Due to unfortunate events like these and many others I cannot stress enough how badly we need rehabilitation centers.
To PWDs, I would like to say, you are perfect the way you are, you need to stand up for your rights and I’ll always be standing by your side to support you and to cherish you. At the end, I would request the public to come forward to work with and for PWDs.
PS: If you want to read, watch my work you can click on the links given below.