Tell us about your foray into the field of philanthropy. How did it all begin for you?
‘Today, I own two orphanages, two schools, two hospitals, 12 clinics, helplines as well as crises centres for women and children’
What are you currently working on?
I got my hands full working on all these institutions. Because of coronavirus, the orphan children are not allowed to meet their relatives and friends, so what we do is, we keep holding functions for the elderly women and these children so they feel entertained and also get to meet their relatives and friends once in a while. Eid is a perfect time to do that and we ensure, their Eid is spent well like this.
Which social cause do you feel the most strongly about?
Empowerment of women is what I feel the most strongly about as it is really something in which work needs to be done I do a lot in this regard. I have launched a crises centre for women in which we fight their cases. Initially, we try to settle them back in their homes, which is our priority but in case, that cannot happen, we train them and make them independent by teaching them and equipping them with skills etc in order to get them back on their feet.
‘Empowerment of women is what I feel the most strongly about as it is really something in which work needs to be done I do a lot in this regard. I have launched a crises centre for women in which we fight their cases. Initially, we try to settle them back in their homes, which is our priority but in case, that cannot happen, we train them and make them independent by teaching them and equipping them with skills etc in order to get them back on their feet’
Tell us how charitable Pakistani people are.
Pakistanis are very charitable. If people know something is for a good cause and their money is going to the right place, they donate whole heartedly.
What is your vision for Pakistan and what does it mean to be Pakistani for you?
I am a very patriotic person. I would like my children and my grandchildren to be here and contributing towards the betterment of the country.
Tell us about a memorable incident in your career.
There are two success stories that remain with me among countless others. One of them is when an orphan girl we sheltered at one of our orphanages, grew up to become the principal one of one our schools. The other is when another orphan girl took up education and became a member of the Chamber of Commerce & Industries.
What according to you has been your biggest achievement so far?
I believe the orphanages I run as well as the work we have done whenever a disaster hit the country are one of my biggest achievements.
We, at Daily Times, consider you one of our national heroes. Who are some of yours?
Seema Aziz is one of my heroes as she’s the one who encouraged me to go all the way in in this area. Asma Jahangir is also one of my heroes.Achievements
A PROMINENT PHILANTHROPIST
Laila Nusrat is the chairperson of Bali Memorial Trust. She is a philanthropist who works persistently to help the poor, sick and destitute individuals. She liaisons with various organisations to eradicate poverty by ensuring that they are provided basic necessities and a strong support system, especially for women, children and the elderly. She works with a fiery enthusiasm for Bali Memorial Trust to empower the under privileged, to give financial support to the poor and provide medical assistance to those needing treatments. She personally plays an active role in providing aid and monitoring the activities of the organisation.
HELM OF AFFAIRS
Laila Nusrat is the founding member of Bali Memorial Trust. She is also the Honorary Chairperson of the Human Rights Centre for Women Ministry of Law, Justice & Human Rights. She is the Executive Board Member of Behbood Health Unit. She is the Member Governing Board of Lahore Businessmen Association for rehabilitation of the disabled. She is a Trustee of Arthritis Foundation and also the Sardar Eye Trust. She is the Executive Member of Hijaz Hospital. She is a Trustee of CARE Foundation and a Trustee of Mian Tajamal Foundation.
WORK THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE
The Bali Memorial Trust is responsible for the First Free School and Dispensary set up in Mian Mir. It sponsored cornea replacement surgeries. A Bali Memorial High School was set-up in Ladheke. Under the trust, a Mother/Child hospital was set-up in Ladhke, Lahore and Kotli-pir Abdur Rahman, Lahore. It opened up a dispensary in Saiden Shah and several technical trainings started at Ladhke School, Lahore. In 2005, Bali Memorial Helpline and Relief & Rehabilitation Management division was set-up. At the time of the Kashmir earthquake and Islamabad Earthquake, it set up a 135 bed hospital to cater to the needs of the victims. Dispensary set-up in Gulberg III. Bali Memorial Shelter Home for Girls set up in Lahore, Defence. Built 475 houses in Thandiani for Earthquake 2005 victims. Qarz-e-hasna and small business set up loans for women. In collaboration with other NGOs, ran a paraplegic Centre for female earthquake affected. Supported families of Blast victims in the FIA building incident.