Lyari’s Girls Cafe — a place of solace to girls
Lyari has been synonymous to gang war and violence, but things have quite changed since the 2013 Karachi Operation. Most of the people have either been victim of criminal activities or part of them. Bullet-riddled walls in the area are evidence of the ordeal that residents of this area have undergone.
Since the situation is improving and sports is returning to the locality, in a colorful building at Phool Patti Lane girls are getting education of all kinds that could be helpful in their life. Girls of different age come to Lyari’s Girls Café to learn from stitching to cycling to boxing to learning English language and other subjects. More than 300 girls are enrolled at the institution currently. Makeup lessons are given in Kachchi, the widely spoken language of the area. Computer classes are conducted in Urdu. Guest speakers visit the housing and deliver lecture on a large spectrum of topics.
The Café has a group of girls cyclists which occasionally go on a ride together, normally early Sunday mornings. Talking to Al-Jazeera Rimsha recalled that when they first went out on bicycle young children scoffed at them. She said she wanted it to become a norm that when a girl has to go somewhere she just take out her bicycle or motorbike and go there without waiting for somebody to take her.
Aas Research and Development Organisation (Arado) President Sultan Mandhro said they never received a direct threat from anybody in the area, however some Facebook users have given ‘implicit threats’ for running the café.
Lyari has been such a notorious place where even men were terrified to travel from one are to another. Here such an initiative by girls is really out of this world.