Lahore: Bilquis and Abdul Razak Dawood (BARD) Foundation, a project of Descon – Pakistan’s largest engineering company – has recently collaborated with celebrated female mountaineer, Naila Kiani, for her upcoming mountain climbing expedition. Scheduled for June 2022, Naila Kiani will be attempting to become the first female Pakistani mountain climber to summit the world’s 2nd highest peak, Mount Godwin Austin, more commonly known as the K2. Naila Kiani has thus far successfully climbed Gasherbrum II (8,035 meters), which is the world’s 13th highest mountain.
BARD Foundation carries a deep vision to promote and facilitate local athletes and sportspersons in order to highlight their talent and true potential across the world. BARD Foundation is a human-development initiative, founded by the renowned industrialist & technocrat – Abdul Razak Dawood and his philanthropist wife – Mrs. Bilquis Dawood. This resourceful foundation has the vision to nurture the Pakistani youth in various professional or technical fields, by enabling these champions to learn more skills, receive better opportunities, and the kind of recognition needed to compete internationally.
Naila Kiani is a Dubai-based Pakistani banker and an amateur boxer, whose love for the mountainous regions inspired her to carry out her wedding ceremony right at the K2 basecamp in 2018. She boldly summited an 8,000+m peak, the Gasherbrum II, right after giving birth to her child. She is a true symbol of empowered, strong, and resilient female athletes in the country, and was presented with an award in December 2021 by the President of Pakistan, to acknowledge her great achievements and contributions towards mountaineering. She continues to inspire global competitiveness among the Pakistani women, while also propagating gender-equality across the world.
Expressing her delight on the sponsorship, Naila recently stated, “I am indebted to my nation, especially the mountain climbing community, for always honoring my humble efforts. I would like to thank the BARD Foundation for their support towards my endeavors – their enthusiastic approach towards my goal to summit the mighty K2 is testament to their noble vision to enable Pakistani talent and sports. This pursuit will act as a beacon for other Pakistani female adventurers and encourage them to explore the mesmerizing beauty of the world’s highest peaks in Pakistan.”
One of the Directors of Descon, Faisal Dawood, stated that: “It is a matter of great pride for us to sponsor the unmatched courage of another Pakistani star – Naila Kiani. Through her many dangerous treks, this female dare-devil is living her dream and building a softer image of Pakistan, globally, as a progressive destination for adventure tourism. Her K2 expedition will engage mountaineers from numerous countries, to promote global peace and harmony and attract more foreign and local female climbers to visit Pakistan.”
BARD Foundation is creating a conducive environment for human-development, while providing great opportunities and elevating quality of life for the deserving communities in sports, education and social development.
The BARD Foundation is a venture undertaken by Bilquis and Abdul Razak Dawood to enable less fortunate individuals to realize their potential as champions in their chosen field. The Foundation’s primary goal is Changing Fortunes with a special focus on Education and Sports. Another is people development through skills. One such initiative of the Foundation is Descon Technical Institute (DTI), which imparts vocational skills to enable individuals to change their lives for themselves and their families.