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Road named after nun in Karachi for services to education

KARACHI: A road has been named after a Catholic nun Sister Berchmans in Clifton area of Karachi in recognition of her services to education.

Administrator Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani, honorary consul general of Ivory Coast Fazal Dadabhoy, Sister Mary Lagan and other nuns, teachers and students inaugurated Berchmans Road in Block 2 of Clifton.

They also presented the official documents of Berchmans Road to Sister Lagan and thanked all the nuns for their services to education in Pakistan.

Sister Berchmans Conway was born in Ireland in 1930 and joined the Convent of Jesus and Mary in 1951 in London before moving to Pakistan at the age of 24 to dedicate her life to teaching. 

In 2012, she was awarded the Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam, one of the highest civil awards. The award citation celebrated her “constant adherence to the call of duty over a span of 59 years, which has made Sister Berchmans a living example to emulate.”

In July 2019, Sister Berchmans was decorated with the Benedict Medal by St. Mary’s University, London, at Westminster Cathedral.  She completed her Diamond Jubilee of religious profession in the Religious of Jesus and Mary in December 2011.

She taught in Convent of Jesus and Mary schools in Karachi, Lahore and Murree. Among her notable students were former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and human rights activist Asma Jahangir.

Mariyam Kashif, a Catholic teacher and social activist from Karachi, said Sister Berchmans deserved this honor for her lifetime of service in Pakistan.

“She is really our pride. Her students include former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, opposition leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Asma Jahangir and other political and showbiz figures,” Kashif said.

“Her contribution in the field of education is enormous and she will be remembered forever. Sister Berchmans dedicated almost 71 years of her life to Lahore, Murree and Karachi, teaching Muslim, Christian, Parsi and Hindu children.”

Father Mario Rodrigues said the inauguration of Berchmans Road was a recognition of the nun’s service.