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“I did my matriculation from Diamond Jubilee Girls High School, Sonikot Gilgit. My father, the only source of the family’s income had fallen sick that’s why I did not continue my studies and started stitching clothes at home to contribute towards the family’s income. I continued doing so until 2004, when I went to Karachi for a Beautician Course, which was sponsored by ‘The Aga Khan Social Welfare Board’ (AKSWB). I earned a six month diploma and returned to Gilgit to work with AKSWB for almost six months. 

In 2006, I started my own Beauty Parlor, which in the beginning was a humongous challenge to deal with. Since there was no concept of relishing services from beauty parlors here in Gilgit, it was difficult to find clients and convince them all along. Meanwhile, I kept stitching clothes to meet ends. After all the hard times now; I’m running a fully fledged business, well-equipped and very well known as ‘Jasmine Beauty Parlor and Training Centre’. It is not only providing quality services to the women of Gilgit but it is also offering training to the females of the region who are interested in pursuing this profession.

 I received ‘The First Beautician in the Region Award’, conferred upon me by the Women Development Department and the Aga Khan Rural Support Program, Gilgit-Baltistan. The support of my family, especially my Grandmother has been crucial throughout my struggle. Also, I would like to give credit to ‘The Aga Khan Social Welfare Board’ for my success in the novel business. My aim in the future is to train as many women as I can in this field so that they become financially independent and empowered, contributing to their families’ income and creating a better future for themselves. My message to the youth of GB especially the girls is “Do work hard to acquire education and skills”

(Shakeela Shahid, Gilgit)

Note: To read stories from The Heros Within Series One originally published at Educure, please visit
http://bit.ly/2y6HnD3