‘Girl With Books’ – Pakistani Truck Drivers Contribute Towards Raising Awareness About Women Rights

Pakistan’s truck art is something the entire world acknowledges and highly praises. Pakistanis excel in it and they give our trucks a vibrant and exquisite look.

However, usually trucks are seen supporting random heroes holding guns, animals like lions or peacocks etc. and sometimes female actresses in skimpy clothing. These are often followed with ‘quotes’ like ‘Dekh Magar Pyar Seh’ or ‘Tumhain chah nahe, humain parwah nahe’ etc.

But in the midst of this, somewhere deep down in Pakistan’s core, things are changing and trucks are being painted with images of girls holding books and going to school.
Drivers are driving around cities and towns having pictures of girls going to school as a method of protesting and raising awareness against Swara, which is a practice where girls are married off as a punishment for a crime they might’ve committed. (Source: Gulf News)

An example of this alternative is the truck of Haji Khan, a local truck art painter in Peshawar, whose automobile went from having pictures of actors and actresses to now having a picture of a girl carrying books and smiling. Next to the picture, the caption reads ‘Education is the basic right of a girl. Send your daughters to school.’

There is no doubt that Truck art targets audience in usually rural areas, where these gruesome activities are still in practice heavily. Amar Minallah, a social worker, anthropologist, documentary filmmaker and the initiator of this program states that:

“Truck art is a big source of publicity as the vehicle roams from Khyber to Karachi and its target audience is the rural population where most of these evil practices prevail,”

But this project isn’t a miracle of her own, she came up with this idea by the help of UNESCO and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) who are also helping in strengthening her initiative financially.

According to her, Hayat Khan, a truck workshop owner is lending his helping hand by trying to convince truck drivers to change the paintings. Some people though are reluctant to become a part of this initiative due to financial disabilities, but Hayat Khan aware every truck driver who arrives at his shop that these payments will be made by ADB and UNESCO.

Hayat Khan said that Truck art is his profession and after the launch of this project, he’s painting pictures that hold a public message.

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