Google pays tribute to social activist Perween Rahman

LAHORE: US multinational technology company and search engine, Google, has paid tribute to well-known social activist Perween Rahman through a doodle on her 65th birthday.

Google, which specializes in Internet-related services and products including online advertising technologies and a search engine, has named today’s doodle after Pakistani social worker, architect, and urban planner, Perween Rahman. Rahman dedicated her life to improving the lives of the weak.

Perween Rahman was born on January 22, 1957, in Dhaka, the capital of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). After the partition of Pakistan in 1971, she moved to Karachi with her family. Rahman was a Pakistani social worker and director of the Orangi Pilot Project Research and Training Institute.

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Rahman studied architecture and then moved to the IHS (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies), Erasmus University Rotterdam to pursue a master’s degree in housing, construction, and urban planning. Her personal experiences with being homeless moved her to campaign for home security, and she began working with the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) in 1982 as an unpaid intern.

Rahman was named head of the OPP’s housing and sanitation program for its commitment to helping 1.5 million Orangi Town citizens protect their land rights. Under Rahman’s leadership, the OPP collaborated with the government to establish 650 private schools, 700 medical clinics, and 40,000 small companies. She has received various awards for her accomplishments, including Sitara-e-Shujaat (Order of Bravery), and her work has influenced how Pakistani cities stand today.

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On March 13, 2013, Perween Rahman was shot dead on her way to work. The incident took place on Karachi’s Main Manghopir Road. The accused managed to escape from the scene while Rahman was rushed, by her driver, to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in a critical condition where she succumbed to her injuries. Rehman had been shot in the neck.

On December 17 last year, an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Karachi had sentenced four accused to back-to-back life imprisonment sentences in connection with the murder of social activist Perween Rahman. According to reports, “In judicial practice, back-to-back life sentences are two or more consecutive life sentences given to a felon”. In addition, this penalty is used to minimize the chances of release, from prison. 

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The four accused in the Perween Rahman murder case Rahim Swati, Ahmad Khan, Amjad, and Ayaz Swati were also fined Rs.200,000/- each. A fifth convict, Imran Swati, was sentenced to seven years in prison and fined Rs.200,000/- for aiding other convicts in the murder.

Moreover, the investigation into the murder further revealed that the assassins had been paid approximately 4 million PKR to murder Parveen Rehman the Director of the Orangi Town Pilot Project in Karachi. 

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