Director of the Orangi Pilot Project, Rahman was shot dead on March 2013


“Perween believed in cultivating human relationships. She had a very special connection with the people of Orangi. She won not only their hearts but [also those] of whomever had the good fortune to come across her. I wanted to tell her story and that of her very important work in Karachi,” said Omar.

The film was screened to audiences at several venues in Turkey throughout the weeklong festival (October 23 — 28).

Rahman was an architect, urban planner and director of the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) — a non-governmental organisation based in Karachi to help solve issues relating to health, sanitation, education, low-cost housing and employment.

She is rightly remembered as the ‘Mother of Karachi’ for devoting her life to the development of the impoverished neighbourhoods in the city. Rahman was a champion for the women and youth of Orangi and a role model for all Pakistanis.

After receiving her postgraduate diploma in housing, building and urban planning in the 1980s, she joined the Orangi Pilot Project initiated by Pakistani development activist Akhtar Hameed Khan in 1983. Through this project, she aimed to bring healthy changes to the lives of impoverished residents of Orangi, one of the largest slums of Karachi.

Rahman’s unique model of sanitation and housing was accepted by Karachi’s government and has since then been replicated in many other villages and towns of Pakistan. She also mapped more than 2,000 urban villages in Karachi and assisted poor people acquire land rights.

She was a firm believer in human development and empowerment of common people, she always spoke up against land mafias in Karachi.