Strong, determined and always ready to stride, Shaista Amber is a social activist from Lucknow who has turned the tables in this misogynistic society. Her life is inspiring and definitely needs some talking. She is one of those unsung heroes, who impact thousands of lives, change the way people think and make this society a truly better place.
Amber is the director of the All India Muslim Women’s Personal Law Board and has always fought for the rights of Muslim Women. She raises the voices of the suppressed, guides those who need directions, and care for those who are left unattended. Her endeavor doesn’t stop here; she is an equally active environmentalist and has taken several practical steps towards sustainable development.
When we talk of ordinary people bringing about change it always comes with an inspiring story and Shaista is no exception. It was in the late 1990s when Shaista was barred from praying at a Mosque while her son was allowed. Shaista was not convinced with the gender segregation and opened an inclusive house of worship called the ‘Amber Mosque’, leaving many Muslim fundamentalists shocked.
Shaista strongly believes that ‘God doesn’t discriminate’ and it has been two decades since men and women have been offering Namaz at Amber Mosque. Also, a not so common practice of Shiah and Sunni Muslims offering prayers at the same place takes place at Shaista’s house of worship.
It certainly was not an easy journey for Shaista but she has achieved extraordinary feats and moved her city as well as her community forward. She has always been outspoken when it comes to the rights of Muslim women and how there are several reforms essential to safeguard human rights. She hailed the Triple Talak verdict by Supreme Court which termed this form of divorce as illegal. Also, she proposed Modern Nikahnaama to PM Narendra Modi, which she said was framed keeping in view the rights of women.
She voices her opinion loud enough and therefore has been a target of many clerics question Shaista’s claim that she believes in Sharia. Shaista has suffered several hardships for walking on the path towards change. She had been given several death threats and haters have stooped down to a level of flattening all the tires of her car.
However, Shaista affirms that she solely works for the upliftment of the section of Muslim women who have been suppressed for long, devoid of education, harassed under the pretense of Triple Talak, denied benefits of government schemes etc. As we said earlier her initiatives are not limited to the welfare of her community; she is an equally active environmentalist who works towards conservation of natural resources and making the world a greener place.
As they say charity beings at home hence, Shaista has installed Solar Panel at Amber Mosque, which takes care of the entire electricity load of the place. She says that to live a healthy life and eventually work hard we need a clean and green environment; therefore, it’s us who will have to take care of the environment. She promotes sustainable development and also educates the youth of the city. With her persistent efforts towards empowerment of woman and environment, she deserves many accolades.
We salute the Iron Lady of Lucknow Shaista Amber, for her strong-head attitude and her determination to stand for what is right despite all odds.