Archive for the ‘Talk For Change’ Category

If you say that Tooba is not a media celebrity in Pakistan then thousands of people are going to disagree with you” this is response of one of Tooba’s fans to my question: Is Tooba Ghumroo a media personality? I was talking to Tooba on a completely different issue and suddenly an idea struck my mind that why not I interview her for RightsNOW and ask questions which her fans want to know about her. I asked Tooba and she agreed. Thanks for her generosity. Tooba is the youngest Sindhi media icon.


RightsNOW-Pak: How do you describe yourself?  (What kind of personality you are? Your education, family and whatever, you would like to share with the readers).

Tooba- Thank Ali, for giving me this opportunity to talk to my friends and viewers through this platform. I would describe myself as a very passionate girl. I love my work and do it with complete passion. If I am assigned to perform any task, I do that with full dedication. I am very reserved kind of person but not when I am in my circle of friends.  As far as education is concerned, I have completed my bachelors in commerce with majors in economics and now I am preparing for CSS and would like to be an official.


RightsNOW-Pak: You would like to be a official, for power, prestige or…what is motivation Tooba?

Tooba: Motivation is  simple: to serve my people in a capacity where I will be in a position to do something for them. May be that is the proper mechanism to reciprocate love and support to our people who have been showing their love and support for a long time. I am thankful for our people’s prayers and support.

RightsNOW-Pak: What attracted you to media? Particularly Sindhi Media?

Tooba: I started my career from Sindhi media KTN news (Kawish Television Network) back in 2006 after my matriculation. I started from Bangkok, you were there, and you know that. I joined Sikandar Baloch and other KTN crew there…….what attracted to media is important question…Well, I wanted to have experience and exposure to see and feel outside world. At the same time, I had decided to do something for Sindh and people through media. So could give them awareness and raise their voice and get their point of view heard.

Frankly speaking, I was not what I am now. Media has given me exposure, name, fame etc. After working in Sindhi media, I have come to know about the problems of Sindh. Later I realized that I should move from regional media to national media and also I had this thing in mind that it through that platform, I will be able to work for Sindh and its issues. As I told, not only Sindhi cause but also my personal career motivation made me to switch to Urdu media. However, I feel comfortable with my urdu colleagues and like Urdu media also but I cannot forget what Sindhi media has given me. Sindh media has been my mentor, my school…

RightsNOW-Pak: Why you left KTN?

Well, the reason of leaving KTN was to switch to a national channel. Of course,I I am professional and I wanted to climb the ladder of my career and move upward from regional to national TV Channel whose viewer-ship is in Asia,Europe and elsewhere.  Also, I wanted to show the world  that Sindhi girls  can also  be presenters on Urdu and national channels. And they have such potential.

RightsNOW-Pak: How do you differentiate ARY and KTN?

Tooba: First of all I would like to mention that both are the medium media which conveys news, plays an important role to highlight the major issues. Big difference I would say, language difference. It is language which plays an important role to gather viewer and make a strong viewership. No doubt ARY news has got an excellent viewership not only in Asia as well as in entire Europe. Another difference is the difference of preferences and priorities. Being a part of ARY news I have come to know that ARY prefers national high level issues first than the local ones while KTN prefers issues of SIND first.

RightsNOW-Pak: Who is your ideal in your family and in media?

My ideal in my family is my mother. She is the woman who has done a lot of sacrifices in life. She left her career to give me and my siblings a quality time, to make us grow in a liberal environment, to support us in every manner. In media I don’t have any ideal but the person who does his work with complete passion and hard work can be my ideal.

RightsNOW-Pak: Tell us about your family?

Tooba: I have a small family. Aman (mother) Baba (dad), a younger sister and a younger brother. Younger sister is 20years old doing majors in Economics and younger brother is sixteen and he is in college. I am the eldest one.

Tooba Ghumro

RightsNOW-Pak: Being the oldest among your siblings, you must be getting the lion’s share (big portion) of chocolates, cakes rights?

Tooba: (Laughter)..No I love them so I give my share to them even. They are my life and soul.

RightsNOW-Pak: How did you manage to get permission from your family to enter in media?

Tooba: As I have mentioned above my mother is very liberal in thinking so is my other family members. I with my siblings have grown up in a very liberal environment. My family understands and respects the desires and rights of an individual. My family knew what I want and they not only supported but even helped me to get in media and do the progress by right means. And practically speaking educated and empowered girl/women can protect her in a better way.

RightsNOW-Pak: What are challenges for a girl in Sindhi or Pakistani electronic media?

Tooba: As we all know that we have been living in a male dominated society. Man always gets first preference in everything. A Pakistani woman has to face many challenges to get herself recognized. Women have to prove that there is no such job which they cannot do. If they run a house and bring up children then they can do the hardest jobs of the world.

As compare to Pakistani woman, Sindhi woman face additional challenges and difficulties in reaching to her destination. Every step is discrimination and challenge but I would say there are lot of positive minded men there everywhere in the form of brother, father, friends and colleagues who support you when you determined to do something. Working in media is not an easy job for a girl but I would say it should not scare us to do that. From my own experience, I have learned that if you are from a good family with good and show respect to everyone then there are lot of good souls to support you.

RightsNOW-Pak: How do you deal with your fans? Do you remember their names and details?

Tooba: OHH! I feel very happy when people recognize my work, my talent, my confidence. I feel great when I see people wants to talk to me they want to know about me, about my personal life, about my friends. I just love it! Yea! I do remember my fans, I do remember their names. In fact I prefer to send replies to their emails, tweets and face book messages whenever I can.

RightsNOW-Pak: Anything scares you in life?

Tooba: Well, there are a lot of things which makes me scared but I’d like to mention that I am very much afraid of reptiles especially snakes.

RightsNOW-Pak: If you are reading news and snake enters in studio? How you would react?

Tooba: I would manage to run away hahahhahaah…….

RightsNOW-Pak: If people say Tooba is rude and arrogant. What will be your response?

Tooba -At ARY Studio during News

Tooba: My response will be- No Tooba is neither  rude nor arrogant. Tooba is sweet.Tooba is considerate and Tooba is respectfull

RightsNOW-Pak: Any childhood memory?

Tooba: YEAH! I have a very sweet memory of my childhood.  I guess I was 5 years old when it had happened. Once I went to the market with my father and I asked him to buy me cookies, ice cream and some chocolates. He did buy but only cookies. Being a five years old kid I begged him to buy me chocolates but he did not so when shop keeper went inside the shop to bring something and Dad was busy in payment or something. I seized the opportunity and stole 6 or 7 candies and put them in my pocket.

Tooba in Studio

After reaching home, I went to my mom with a happy face and showed her my cookies and chocolates. Mom asked my dad why did he buy me 6 candies. It’s not good for tooba’s teeth!  Dad replied: I did not buy Tooba 6 candies I only bought her cookies and then my dad called me and asked me ‘from did I get those candies’? I was not replying him for the second time he spoke to me loudly and I told him the truth that I stole the candies because he did not buy for me. After knowing the truth Dad immediately took me to the shop and told the story to the shopkeeper paid him the cost.  That was my life’s first and last Chori hahhah

RightsNOW-Pak: Any friend? Best friend?

Tooba: My sister Marvi and my brother Sufiyan are my best friends. Saima Omer Hayat, my colleague and Co-anchor is my best friend. Sikander Baloch, Aijaz  Panhwer, Altaf Babar , Laraib, Saira, Kamran, Qadir Kandhar, Junaid Ali, Aziz Ansari, Saif are my friends. And of course you, Ali Palh 🙂

Childhood Memories of Tooba

RightsNOW-Pak: How do you see women rights in Sindh? How Sindhi women can come forward and have rights equal to men?

Tooba:  Education. Once a girl is educated she can have her rights. I request all my friends, viewers, respectable Sindh people that please educate your daughters and treat them equally and humanely. NGOs can play important role in awareness of women rights but primary responsibility is of state and our own as a brother, father and male member of society.

RightsNOW-Pak: Any message for people?

Tooba:  Always believe in the best; because, when you believe in the best you have best of the best. Never lose confidence in yourself, if you want to achieve your goals you need to work hard.  In life, never give up. Never! Always remember there is “NO GAIN WITHOUT PAIN”.

RightsNOW-Pak: Thanks Tooba for being with us today.

Tooba:  Thanks to RightsNOW Pak. Takecare.

See Tooba on Screen…….

Sindh, one of the provinces of Pakistan, also known as Mehran or Indus Valley, 5000 years old civilization, land of mystics, poets and peace-lovers. Land of Shah Bhitai, Qalaander Shahbaz, Sachal, Sami, Ayaz, Akash, Zulifqar, Benazir and Haleem Baghi.

Sindh – Land of Poets, Tolerance and Peace

In Bina Shah’s words, “Sindh is not just a state, it is a state of mind; real beauty of Sindh is not in rivers, forests but in tolerance, peace and harmony.” That beauty of Sindh has inspired Linda Bay Brown, British poet, based in UK, who has seen Sindh through Zaib Sindhi’s eyes. Linda got inspired by Sindh’s beauty and wrote a poem which was later translated by Sindh writer Hidayat Baloch and published in daily Kawish, popular Sindhi newspaper. We are thankful to Zaib Sindhi and Hidayat Baloch who are ‘Ambassadors of Sindh’ who linked a land of poets with a British Poetess, a lady with a sweet heart and a kind soul, whose love for Sindh is boundless and borderless. Linda’s poetry for us is a gift as well as a prayer for flood victims of Sindh and Pakistan. Poet/Poetess’ prayer never go unheard. It is my firm belief.

God will give us way to get out of the difficult situation, flood has created. and will protect us from future calamities.After reading Linda’s  Poetry, I felt personally moved and thought to share that lovely gift of Linda for victims of flood in Sindh with you through RightsNOW Pakistan, a magnanimous task Zaib Sindh and Hidayat Balouch have already done through Kawish. We requested Linda for interview and she agreed to share her poetry and thoughts. You are so generous woman Linda!

RightNowPak- How would you describe yourself both as a person and as a poet?

Linda: I am a woman of 59 and a mother of two adult sons and living in England, UK. I have always enjoyed writing since being very young along with other artistic activities such as cooking, drawing and painting. As a poet I would rate myself along the lines of the US artist Grandma Moses, in as much as my work is straight from the heart, mostly spontaneous and often breaks ‘the rules’ . I feel that any art should be something you ‘feel’ deeply within your core. Rules and regulations don’t always allow for spontaneity and passion . Although I see the sense in adhering to meterage and stanza size, I feel lassitude can work in some cases too. However, I mostly like to read and write rhyming verse but again this doesn’t always have to be the case. I find some non rhyming stanzas too much like a list of ‘one liners’ but all writers are different and varied and should be able to stay faithful to their chosen style, changing only if they feel they want to. Like painting artists some poets like to change the mood and feel of their work. Love, loss. colours. nature and all four seasons inspire me to write, as does the moon, sun, water of oceans ans rivers. I endeavour to carry a note book with me in order to note flashes of inspiration. In recent years I have encouraged many people to display their feelings through writing poetry and prose. I am pleased to see that some still enjoy writing still and with improvement as time goes by.

RightsNowPak: How you became a poet? When did you write first time and on what subject?

Linda: Sadly, or perhaps not, I was born largely deaf and as a result would often retreat into my own daydreaming world since I sometimes couldn’t keep up with the hearing world very easily. I became very watchful and learned many things simply by watching others and how they did things. As I grew up i became adept at reading body language and some lip reading. I developed an ability to sense others feelings of joy and pain. Throughout I was lucky enough to have the most wonderful mother who was kind , caring and encouraging and as a result it was for this wonderful lady and her love for many children that she raised alone since the death of my father when I was very young that I wrote my first poem.

Linda – Poet with sweet heart and kind soul

RightsNowPak- How do you know Sindh? Have you ever travelled to that part of the world?
Linda: Last year I forged an internet friendship via Facebook with a well known and respected writer of plays, films and poetry who introduced me to Sindh, it’s history and culture. As did other friends that I made through my friend Mr. Zaib Sindhi and Facebook . Often I would receive messages and links to subjects of great interest to me, such as Mohenjo-daro. In chat I would often be told about such things as Eid or the Festival of Culture. At times I googled some things to learn more about the Province. I felt deeply the pain of the people suffering the floods from the Indus river and indeed the aftermath of such fate. Over the last year I have been inspired byt the love the Sindhies have for their history , their culture , THEIR Sindh ! Strangely I feel a connection that I cannot explain yet I am from a vastly different back ground and culture. I am sorry but it is as simple as that.

RightsNowPak: Heard you have written a poem on for and about Sindh?

Linda: Yes, province of Sindh and also the victims of the recent awful and treacherous flood there there.  I gifted this poem to the people of Sindh via the poet Zaib Sindhi, the first Sindhi I got to know through the Internet. I wrote this poem called,  ‘All Washed Out’ through the eyes of a Sindhi person.

1.River no longer laps at my feet

It is now drowning out the street

No longer running crystal clear

Soil of ancients washed up here


2.Wet gritty fossil dust leaching

Far wide and quickly reaching

Every field barn loft and home

Making a watery sodden tomb


3.Running hard fast and scared

Stricken people unprepared

For this dank flowing sorrow

Some won’t live for tomorrow


4.Fathers, husbands and sons

Toiling to close all river runs

Feeling weary as they stride

To stem full dirty flowing tide


5.Farmers cry for drowning fields

Wave goodbye to feeding yields

Weeping mothers cradle babes

In their wet and darkened caves


6.Oh what has mother nature done

Are we to struggle again alone

Greater world you have a choice

To help us back to singing voice


7.Do not let your  hearts forget

For it’s no where near over yet

Raging waters may now subside

But the aftermath’s a painful ride


8.As you go about your busy day

Please don’t forget us we pray

We didn’t deserve this nightmare

So show us please that you care


Linda’s poetry published in Kawish-Translated by Hidayat Baloch

RightsNOW: In your poem, stanza # 4-‘River no longer laps at my feet,about men and stanza  5 about women, “Weeping mothers cradle babes. How do you see it from gender perspective and how do you define it?

From a gender point of view regarding the floods I felt that the onus was strongly upon the males to protect their families which is obviously a huge stress when fighting against the odds with such raging torrents of water. they will go and seek help to bring back to the family, Women are (usually) intent on staying with the children and the elderly at the risk of endangering their own lives. I think that is indigenous to their gender and inbuilt into them regardless of culture. In both genders I saw huge fear and weariness in pictures and news footage of this awful and destructive flood.

RightsNow-Pak- You have mentioned ‘Sindhi poets Shah Lalif, Sachal Sarmast and Sheikh Ayaz. Have you read them? What do you think about them?
Linda: Yes I have heard of the various Sindhi poets such as , Latif, Ayaz and Sarmast due to reading some interpreted quotes displayed upon Facebook members wall or page under the heading of notes or status. Indeed I have been sent books on these poets and their scribes by my friends and modern day poets Mr. Sindhi and Mr. Hidayat Baloch. Sadly, due to caring for my husband who is a sufferer of brain cancer I have found little time to read and digest their contents but hope to in the future. Just as poets of ancient times here have much to offer and inspire modern readers and writers I feel sure the Sindhi poets of old do too.

RightsNow-Pak: The floods in Pakistan in 2010 have done massive destruction in Pakistan and Sindh? Do you think the response both from national and international community is proportional to the destruction?

Linda: You asked me if I think the response both from national and international community is proportional to the destruction and devastation of the 2010 floods. Internationally I confess I do not know exact figures or facts but I do know I was compelled to contribute and I did so but am not prepared to say how except that it was at local level within Sindh, in order for help to get where it was most needed. I did however read that generally the response wasn’t as huge as it could have been and if that is true then I would suspect this is due in part to worldwide recession leaving many out of work but possibly more so due to fear instilled in people by the terrorist activities of recent history. T be fair I can’t honestly say without full possession of the facts but I do know that many fear what is happening in the world today. It is such a shame that peace seems to evade us all and that a crisis may possibly be less assisted due to fear and misunderstanding on all fronts.

Nationally, since I do not live in Sindh nor anywhere in Pakistan I know nothing about the contributions made . What I do know though is that in my country we have a very profound saying … ‘action speaks louder than words’ . In other words, reciting, reading and talking about kindnesses and generous deeds towards those less fortunate is not a anything like as good as actually doing something or contributing towards helping them. In Britain/UK you will find it is a regular occurrence for the wealthy and famous members of the population to donate, organise or indeed help greatly to organise charitable events in order to raise monies for the needy and the poor. It is highly approved and appreciated by everyone at every level in life. You will also find specifically set up organisations to whom you can donate or turn to for advice regarding the particular cause that they assist. I believe anyone who is selfless enough to help the needy should be applauded for without such help many causes would be lost. Each nation will surely do it’s best to help their suffering and needy won’t they ?

Please join me in thanking Linda for her lovely boundless and borderless love for us. Thanks for the lovely gift of her poetry. Thanks a lot to Zaib Sindhi and Hidayat Baloch for great ambassadorial work for promoting Sindh and Sindhis at international level. We saw Sindh in Linda’s poetry now lets see her in this video posted by Farhan Abbassi.In case, it does not run here. Click ‘Watch on the Youtube’ on the screen or visit–>

Thanks a lot Linda for being with us. Meharbanion (thanks)