Armeena Khan is an actress and a Humanitarian doing tremendoes work on and off screen. Recently Ayesha Kundi caught up with her and spoke to her about the Graham Layton Charity and her affiliation with it.
I met Nusrat Mirza at a Ramadan dinner in Manchester that she had graciously thrown for the Mancunians. I had a brief conversation about her work but I wanted to know more because of certain things she said so I dug a little deeper. we started talking and realised that the values that we share were similar. I got excited because I’m a humanitarian. I believe that right to sight is a fundamental human right and that is their mission statement. I immediately rang her and asked her how many hospitals or clinics do they have in Pakistan? I thought she might say 2 or 3, but to my surprise she said there are 19 state of the art hospitals in major cities. when I did my research I found out that 80% of blindness or visual impairment is curable.
In 2019 to have a visual impairment that is curable and people bot being able to reach their full potential for is criminal. That was the point when I decided to get involved and then I found out that not only were the 19 hospitals but also 54 clinics in remote places so typically people living in villages are never away from a centre, it’s within a three-hour radius. I was surprised by that the accessibility encouraged me.
I was in Wales a couple of days ago and it hit me that I am able to enjoy all the colours and the sights of this beautiful land and this world. If I was a little bit more vocal about it I could have a hand in something so simple and allow them to live the life they deserve.
We have been blessed with huge platforms. I personally can reach out to millions of people in seconds. It doesn’t take much and I feel that the message can go out within a few seconds. I have a voice that people look up to. They follow my work and I do feel that I have a certain amount of influence as does any other celebrity.
Followers will do as they are told and will contribute if a celebrity is asking them to. I am very interactive with my supporters. I feel that sometimes I can steer people and I can get influencers to influence more people so all it takes is a click of a button. I feel that I can make a difference because as I said, I believe in humanity and I believe in the right to sight.
I feel all of us working on TV and the big screen carry a certain influence and that it’s our absolute duty to do so. It’s almost like giving back. we are blessed so why shouldn’t we give back and that’s my mantra in life.
Truthfully, initially I didnt deal very well with it because social media has taken advent in a strong way in the last four to five years. I began in 2010 when things were a bit sparce on the scene, and I found that whatever I put out may not be received as I’m intending it to be. Even though my intentions are a certain way, people may not perceive it that way so I started restricting myself for a few months.
I went through a journey and realised I will be myself because it’s about authenticity and I feel if you’re not authentic, people can see right through it. I always post what I believe in. I am driven by my convictions and feel that my message will ultimately get through to the intended audience that needs to see it.
It’s very easy to give the gift of sight specially through a trust like Graham Layton. All you have to do is perhaps not buy that lipstick that you are eyeing or forgo that cup of coffee. One cataract operation only costs £23, if you put that into perspective that’s an entire life made. I don’t think giving this gift of sight can be put into any monitory value. So checkout Graham Layton Trust, read about them and their amazing work because we need more and more people to help attain this basic human right.
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