Mohini Hameed – A devoted Christian who was first female radio broadcaster of Pakistan

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Mohini Hameed

Mohini was born in 1922 in Batala, India. In 1938, Mohini joined All-India Radio (AIR) under her maiden name, Mohini Das, as a dramatic artist. When AIR Lahore started a children’s radio program, she was given the name “Apa Shamim”.

She went on to conduct the children’s programme for about 39 years, making the name Apa Shamim a household name on the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent.

When India gained freedom from the British, Mohini opted for Pakistan as her home. Mohini joined Radio Pakistan and became the first woman broadcaster of Pakistan. In 1954 she got married and became Mohini Hameed. Throughout her career, she was awarded numerous awards by various artistic and cultural organizations in and out of Pakistan. In 1957 she was declared the voice of the year. In 1963, Radio Pakistan Lahore celebrated her Silver Jubilee and at this occasion the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), in its Urdu broadcast, declared her the “Golden Voice of Asia”.

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In 1965, Mohini was awarded the “Tamgha-i-Imtiaz” (Medal of Distinction) by the president of Pakistan on behalf of the nation. In 1969, the United Nations declared the year as the Year for Women and exhibited her photo and write-up along with those of other distinguished women of Asia in Ottowa, Canada.

In 1977, Mohini retired and left Pakistan for the USA to join the Christian missionary work which was her lifelong ambition. She joined Key Communications, which evangelizes to South Asia. She recorded the gospel in the Urdu language, for radio-broadcast to Pakistan and the Middle East. Due to the loss of her eyesight, she completed recording most of but not all of the epistles.

Mohini Hameed

In 1998, the Pakistan government again awarded Mohini with a second Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Medal of Distinction), even in her absence from the country. In 1999 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation for which she received congratulatory messages from all around the world. Following this honor, the Voice of America broadcast her interview concerning her art and life for their Urdu international transmission.

Mohini passed away in the United States in 2009. In 2013, the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation dedicated the “Mohini Hameed Studio” in her honour.

Mohini Hameed