Shehzad Roy is a popular pop singer and humanitarian from Karachi, Pakistan. Since his first album debuted in 1995, with a revolutionary approach to fusing his lyrics with music of different genres, he has been a successful and popular singer. He says that, “the authenticity of the message in a song produces meaningful music.”
With five hit albums under his belt, including the 2008 ‘Qismat App Kay Haath Main Hai,’ (Fate Lies in One’s Own Hands) he is also the President and founder of Zindagi Trust, a non-for-profit charitable organization, that seeks to educate the underprivileged children of Pakistan. In June 2004, Roy was honored as one of the youngest ever recipient of the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, which is one of the highest Civil Honors awarded in Pakistan for excellence in serving humanity. For his organization’s earthquake rehabilitation in Kashmir, he was awarded with the Sitara-e-Eisaar. He was also selected to be a torch bearer for the 2008 Olympic Torch relay as the pride of Pakistan.
His current achievement has made him even more special as this recognition comes from abroad. Shehzad Roy has been awarded the 2009 Patricia Blunt Koldyke Fellowship on Social Entrepreneurship by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs for his philanthropic work in the field of education as reported by Dawn.
According to a press release posted on the Chicago Council’s website,
‘the fellowship recognises Mr Roy’s commitment to providing better learning opportunities in government-run schools, and honours his goal of encouraging Pakistan’s youth to evaluate education and provide them with the knowledge and opportunities they need to realise a peaceful, democratic and political future.’
Elaborating, the press release said that ‘Roy uses the proceeds from his hugely popular concerts to fund the work of the Zindagi Trust, which since 2002 has established vocational centres and healthcare clinics and has worked to improve Pakistan’s educational system. One of its first projects, ‘I am Paid to Learn’, provided child laborers nationwide with monetary compensation for attending school, an important initiative in a country where more than 10.5 million children under the age of 15 work menial jobs to support their families.’
His trust has adopted many schools and worked for development of Secondary education in Paksiatn. SMB Fatima Jinnah School is a well laid example. He turned this deserted school into a hi tech English medium school without charging any fee. Well done Shehzad. Pakistan is proud of you.