Sheema Kermani led Tehrik-e-Niswan group on U.S. tour to raise funds for women hospital

Tehrik e Niswan group led by renowned classical dancer Sheema Kermani is touring the US to help raise funds for the free treatment of poor women at the Kohie Goth Women Hospital in Karachi. The stage play and classical dance combo tour has been sponsored by US-based National Health Forum (NHF) led by Dr. Naseem Shekhani of St. Louis, Missouri, and Karachi-based renowned Dr. Shershah Syed.

Tehrik-e-Niswan-fundraising-usaThe tour aims to raise $2 million for the women’s hospital which is a center for Vaginal Fistulas, a major disease during child labor.

Dr. Shershah has featured in Nicholas Kristoff’s article in New York Times, NBC/ABC related to women’s health and the hospital. He was one of the five individuals awarded in 2010 for CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE and the only Pakistani who has been featured on LANCET — a British Medical Journal.

The dance and play group activities in the US is being coordinated by Ms. Shazia Ahmed. The group has already performed several hour and a half stage play-cum-classic dance in several cities which will continue till the 15th of September.

The group today left Chicago for its next destination St Louis in Michigan for their next performance Friday evening. Thereafter, the group will perform in Dallas on Sunday.

The all woman’s group is performing stage play ‘Main Jeongi Sur Uthake’ along with classical dance by artiste Sheema Kermani. The theme highlights issues related to early marriages, home based child delivery and other related health issues.

The tour has already visited 5 out of 11 cities in the US. Major cities on their itinary include Washington DC; Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; New York City; Detroit in Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Houston and Austin in Texas; San Fransisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Speaking to media, Ms Sheema Kermani appealed to Pakistanis in US and Pakistani-Americans to come and watch the dance and stage plays being performed in their cities and donate generously for the women’s hospital.

Shazia said she was disappointed that only 10 out of 14 to 16 dance and play members were able to get the visa.

‘We had to compromise on time and quality to accommodate the visa denial of these young dancers and play performers’, she added.

Sheema was satisfied by the response the group has received so far and said she is happy that the Pakistani Diaspora in the USA (almost 700,000 to 800,000) is coming forward not only to watch the show but is also actively contributing towards the fund raising which is the real intent of the tour.

‘The tour is also projecting the softer image of Pakistan and Pakistani women,’ she added.

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