21 year old Karishma Ali is the first-ever girl from Chitral to play football on the national as well as international level. The Pakistani footballer secured a spot at the prestigious Forbes ’30 Under 30′ list yesterday.
‘Baba, look how far we’ve come,” she tweeted.
Karishma encourages Chitrali girls toward football
As President of the Chitral Women’s’ Sports Club, Karishma has trained around 60 girls in the football sport. She tells social media that her aim is to make football a way of life in her region and to encourage more women and girls to play the game and make a difference in their lives. She has represented her country at the Jubilee Games in Dubai and was also a part of the first women’s team from Pakistan to take part in the AFL International Cup.
It is for this very reason that she has made it to the coveted ‘30 under 30’ list and is sharing the spot with the Japanese tennis star, Naomi Osaka, who is considered to be at the top of her game at the very moment.
Ali tweeted about the achievement and remembered her father who had supported her throughout.
In an interview with CNN, Karishma Ali revealed that when she started training women in the field of football, she had received numerous death threats from men. Karishma added that these threats did not deter her from her resolve and she subsequently continues to play the game and train young girls in the same.
Footballer Karishma Ali recognised in US
A detailed feature report by CNN has covered Karishma Ali for her selfless philanthropy work in her hometown, Chitral.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic handicapped the lives of many, Ali would spend hours driving on bumpy, mountainous roads with her father and uncle delivering much-needed supplies to the local hospital and underprivileged villagers. Items bought with money she raised, mainly through social media” claimed the CNN report.
“She says that, as of August, they had supplied one month’s worth of rations to 300 families, and donated 155 N95 masks, 53 goggles, 250 PPE suits, 650 surgical masks, 400 pairs of surgical gloves and 76 face shields to the DHQ Hospital Chitral,” the report underscored.
“The men work as daily wage labor in different cities in Pakistan and what happened after the close down, many industries and businesses closed down, they had to return home, and people were finding it really difficult, a lot of families were in need,” shared Karishma with CNN, as she spoke about how the virus has changed circumstances in her hometown.
Further enlightening the news publication about her dreams to empower women with education and other skill sets, Karishma said: “Ten years from now I want to see at least 10-20 more girls like myself who come back here [Chitral] after they’ve achieved their dream and work for the other girls that I was not able to reach out to and, slowly, I see a progressive society where men and women are working equally, where women do not have to stress about traditional customs, and be able to freely do what they can and see that I was part of all of this change.”
“I want to see more women in leadership positions and then sit back and enjoy it. This is what I wanted to fight for,” she added.
Women and girls from Chitral and beyond celebrate Karishma for not only her appearance at Forbes, but also for her humanitarian work and spirit. Social media users took to twitter to encourage and honor the footballer.
He must be very proud today.
We all are!!
You are an example.
KEEP IT UP!!
— Shahaan Ishaq Khattak (@Shahaanishaq) October 9, 2020