Karachi, November 3: The legendary social, educational and cultural leader of Gojal Valley, Rai Ghulam ud Din breathed his last today at the Intensive Care Unit of Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi.
His body will be flown to Islamabad tomorrow morning at around 7 O’clock, from where it will be taken to Gulmit, his native village, in upper Hunza (Gojal).
The list of services of Rai Ghulam ud Din is very impressive.
He was the first Chairman of Aga Khan Education Service (North), then known as Directorate of DJ Schools.
He was one of the founding leaders of Hunza Educational Resource Project (HERP) in the 90s.
He also founded the Al-Amyn Model School, Gulmit, arguably one of the best schools in Gilgit – Baltistan. He also founded the Gulmit
Educational and Social Welfare Society and served as its first President.
Rai Ghulam ud Din was the key person behind the Wakhi Tajik Cultural Association (WTCA), the organization credited for initiating the revival of Wakhi culture in Gilgit – Baltistan.
He was also a member of the Ismaili Council for Hunza and Ismaili Conciliation and Arbitration Committee at different times.
Recognizing the services of Mr. Ghulm ud Din, he had been bestowed with the honorary title of “Rai”, by His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.
Born in Passu Village in the year 1944, Rai Ghulam ud Din breathed his last today at the age of 67 in Karachi, at around 10:30 AM. He will be laid to rest in his native village Gulmit in presence of family members and admirers.
Left mourning the death of the legendary leader are his wife, his daughter – Zohra, and his family members along with thousands of admirers across the world.
His death leaves a leadership gap that may never be filled. His vision, wisdom and leadership will be missed.
“I am the luckiest and richest person in the world”, late Rai Ghulam ud Din once told this scribe, in the month of August, while recovering from a surgery in Karachi. “The love, respect and care of thousands of people is a great asset that I have built over the period of my life”, he had said.
It is pertinent to note that people in several villages of Gojal Valley held collective prayers for recovery of Mr. Ghulam ud Din during his life time while he suffered from ailment, as a token of their love and appreciation for his services.
While faced with many challenges during his life, Rai Ghulam ud Din always showed exceptional resilience and energy, fighting social ills as well as his own physical ailment. He was suffering from kidney failure and was routinely going through the process of dialysis for many years.