Jahan Encourages Education For Girls


“I AM unable to put it into words but the respect that has been bestowed upon me and the happiness I am feeling is all due to god blessing me with this honour and my parents for their vision to educate girls which has brought me this far.”

These were the sentiments shared by the recipient of the 50th Independence Anniversary Medal, Noor Jahan, who is a radio personality for Radio Fiji Two, a Hindi station at the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation. Mrs Jahan was born in a small village called Nabila, about 35 kilometres away from Nadi town and her father was a sugarcane farmer who also used to plant other cash crops.

Her father had to walk 2.5 kilometres to the post office to put through money order for magazines from India which were read by everyone in her home. “Today, I am 77 years old and in the 50s and 60s it was very difficult for parents in Fiji to focus on educating their daughters. We were 12 siblings and my parents had a vision of educating them all starting with always having a reading environment,” she said.
“My siblings are all well-educated today so just imagine how visionary my father, Abdul Gafoor was. All the prayers for him will never be enough to thank him,” Mrs Jahan added.

“There is a saying that behind every successful man there is a woman, similarly behind every successful woman there is a man. Behind a successful woman the support of her life partner, visionary father or brother is very important otherwise things get difficult.”

Mrs Jahan says her husband has been very supportive of her since they got married 51 years ago and she also attributes her success to him.

“I have gained great happiness in 32 years of my radio career by living in the hearts of my listeners and viewers through my hard work. I feel very satisfied when I get blessings from my listeners for putting a smile on their faces for doing something very small for them,” Mrs Jahan said.

“Our Prophet had said that when we educate a daughter, it is similar to educating a new family. If you educate a son, you are only educating him, however, when educating a daughter, you are giving her the skills to look after a new generation.”

“It is not absolutely necessary that you get an education just to find employment, but learning and getting educated is very important and this also includes the education of your religion,” she added.

Mrs Jahan stressed that educating daughters is really important and parents should not think that they have wasted a lot of money on them but ask those parents whose daughters are successful in life and they will tell you how proud they are of their achievements.