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In today’s podcast, Rajan travels to Pakistan to meet with Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, a Pakistani politician, TV Anchor, educationalist and campaigner for human rights, who has become a role model for the women of Pakistan, especially Sindh.

Mahtab shares her remarkable story with Rajan stemming from the empowerment of education that her father insisted upon, challenging the misconceptions that people have about women’s roles in society, her friendship with the late Benazir Bhutto and the current situation between India and Pakistan. It is an open and honest conversation that depicts our changing times.

About Mahtab Akbar Rashdi:

Mahtab Akbar Rashdi started her career as an educationist, joining the International Relations Department at the University of Sindh in 1973. She went on a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Massachusetts, US, for a Masters in International Relations, following which she became the Chairperson of the International Relations Department, University of Sindh at Jamshoro.

Her administrative career has been outstanding. Mahtab Akbar Rashdi served as Director, Institute of Sindhology and Regional Director, University Grants Commission, at Jamshoro.

Mahtab Rashdi has had the honour of being the first ever woman Secretary in the history of the Sindh Secretariat. She served as Secretary Culture & Tourism, Youth Affairs & Sports, Director General Environmental Protection Agency, Secretary Social Welfare and Women Development, Secretary Education, Director General Provincial Ombudsmen Secretariat, Secretary Information and Secretary Inter Provincial Coordination.

She was a Member in the Sindh Provincial Assembly from 2013 to 2018. Her role as bureaucrat in these important positions has been pivotal in bringing about positive and progressive change.

Mahtab Rashdi is actively associated with various learned bodies, forums and social organizations through which she has taken initiatives to educate women about their rights and economic empowerment.

She is serving as Director on the Board of HUM Television Ltd., National Academy of Performing Arts, and Green Star Social Marketing.

She is the President of Sindh Graduates Association, Women Branch, Chairperson of Family Planning Association of Pakistan, Chairperson of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), South Asia Region Executive Council and Treasure of IPPF, Trustee of Parveen Shakir Trust and Member of the Advisory Board of Institute of Sindhology.

She contributes articles to various Sindhi, English, and Urdu journals and weeklies on social issues, environment, international relations and culture.

Her book Indo-Pak Relations was published in 1989. She has also presented various television talk shows on TV to popular acclaim. In recognition of her outstanding contributions Mahtab Rashdi has been conferred with awards by many national and international organizations, including the Pride of Performance, the national award, by the President of Pakistan.

About the Global Indian Series:

Rajan Nazran is the chief chief explorer for the Global Indian Series, the official platform for people of Indian origin (PIO), because let's face it, we are everywhere!

For almost 15 years we have travelled across the globe covering 58 countries to date whilst exploring the kaleidoscope of our remarkable global community.

Voyaging to the edges of the Amazon, facing Ebola in West Africa, being held hostage in Eastern Europe, tapping rubber in Malaysia, drinking chai with Heads of State and sharing laughter with local fishermen - I have been there, looking for us!

Our purpose is simple, to build a living encyclopaedia of the community and a safe mooring ground for open discussions, whether you are an NRI, Indian Diaspora, person of Indian origin (PIO) or a fan of South Asian anthropology, what we do is bring people and communities together.

We do this by plunging into the human experience of being a person of Indian origin (PIO), taking a second look at the countries we now call home and tackling the conversations we need to know more about.

Through our range of award-winning original content (print, podcasts, events and TV) and fascinating discussions, our impactful stories and platforms have spearheaded national and international conversations that have brought people together.

Our work is featured in global brands including The Indian Express, OWM, Manager, ABC and many more.

How to get involved:

Interested in getting involved in building the world’s largest living encyclopedia on the community? Whether you want to become a patron, buy us a chai in a new location or have your story shown, simply get in touch via our website, we would love to hear from you.

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You can reach Rajan via:

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Special thank you to TAIZU for the music

Episode details:

Episode: 50
Presenter – Rajan Nazran
Producer –Global Indian Series/NazranRoth
Guest – Mahtab Akbatr Rashdi
Art Design – Vanisha Patel

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