Renowned British social worker, environmentalist and legendary expert on the #Kalash people Ms. Maureen P. Lines passed away in Peshawar. She was 79 years old. Ms. Maureen Patricia Lines – Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Civil) (Born: 23 Oct 1937; Died: 17 Mar 2017)
Born in 1937 in England, she was an expert on Kalash culture and writer who first came to Pakistan in 1980. She lived among the Kalasha people, learning their language and ways. Her love for them had braved all odds. She was a recipient of the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Pakistan’s civil medal award) for extraordinary services rendered in the preservation and promotion of Kalash culture. She studied International Affairs at the New York University (NYU) and Journalism at the New School for Social Research (NSSR) in New York.
She was earlier trained as an ambulatory emergency technician in the US and worked as a ‘barefoot doctor’ providing medicine to the Kalasha door-to-door. Deceased was the founder of Kalash Environmental Protection Society (KEPS) and the Hindu Kush Conservation Association (HKCA). She was also a columnist for DAWN, and The Friday Times, and author of many books: ‘Beyond the North-West Frontier’, ‘A Guide to the Kalash People’, ‘The Kalasha of the Hindu Kush’ etc. etc. The last named publication is a pictorial coffee-table book that captures rare glimpses of everyday life of the Kalasha who are fighting for their cultural survival amid growing commercialisation and modernity as the dwellers of the last mountain enclave of pagan tribespeople in this remotest part of Pakistan.
Ms Maureen Lines was an extraordinary and inspirational figure who had devoted her entire life to the service of others. She had recently adopted Kalash orphan children whom she desired to educate in schools in Peshawar. Many of her ongoing projects and beneficiaries of her welfare schemes face an uncertain future after her passing.
In the tributary words of one of her friends Mr. Ejaz Rahim, “She was a great human being. She knew how to fight for the under-privileged and died in harness. She gave all her energy and resources to those she cared for. I count her among the heroes of this land. I last saw her some months ago when I visited her to inquire about her health. The body was indeed failing but her spirit was as bright as ever. The news of her passing has saddened me, although I believe she has gone to a well-deserved rest.” .. Source : Facebook – Photo by Ali Jan, 18 Mar 2017Also read: Barefoot doctor of Kalasha breathes her last