Living up to his repute of never taking a moment off work, Dr Sadiq Malik, the pioneer of Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) in Pakistan, celebrated his 99th birthday on Tuesday with the launch of a latest book “Integrated Rural Development: A Revolutionary Approach— From Concept to Reality.”
It was more of a family reunion than a formal book-launch as one could see Dr Sadiq Malik surrounded by his progeny—very distinguished and highly educated— son, daughters, grandsons and grand daughters all making their mark in their respective fields and attributing their achievements to his guidance, vision and efforts.
This rare get together was also made possible by Executive Director of the Rural Development Foundation (RDF) Dr Wajid Pirzada who had invited Dr Sadiq Malik’s children, members of civil society, colleagues from development sector and public and private representatives to attend the book launch-cum-birthday.
In his welcome address, Dr Pirzada paid rich tribute to Dr Sadiq Malik for his life-time dedication to the cause of rural development, and remarked that he was a ‘Living Legend’ among us; and the book he authored would go a long way in informing public policy based on evidence and competent advice; alongside a source of great learning for students and generation to come.
He said it was just co-incident that United Nation’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) also launched its ‘Rural Development Report 2019’ this month that underlined the need for mobilization of rural youth, and harnessing technological developments of this age, for socio-economic development in rural areas.
The most befitting tribute however was paid by Malik’s son ex-Federal Ombudsperson of Pakistan Javed Malik, his granddaughters—Dr Ayesha Khanna, Saara Salim, Amna Pasha, Sabina—and grandson Dr Ali Hammad.
“Our grandfather has been a great source of inspiration for us and he always motivated us to stand for something in life,” said they.
Dr Ayesha who is all set to launch an artificial intelligence university in Pakistan recounted many an incident when she was encouraged, consoled and guided by Sadiq Malik. “In my difficult moments I always sought his advice and that worked wonders with me,” she said.