A Pakistani student and philanthropist, Bilal Bin Saqib, has been named in the Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2020 list.
Bilal, who is a fresh graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE) in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, has been included in the list thanks to his work on potable water that is easing the lives of people in rural Sindh and Balochistan.
Commenting on the development, the entrepreneur said that it is a very joyous moment for him.
I am honored that I was able to make Pakistan proud. I have been chosen by Forbes based on helping the water-deprived communities in Pakistan.
Here is how Forbes described his entry into the list:
Bilal Bin Saqib is the founder of Tayaba, a social enterprise that aims to provide solutions to the water crisis in Pakistan. One of its initiatives is the ‘H2O wheel,’ a plastic wheel container connected to a metal bar that helps to reduce the burden on women and children who carry water in rural Pakistan for miles each day. The wheel can carry up to 40 liters of water, which is eight to 10 times more than what a mud pot (traditionally used to carry water) can hold.
Bilal, 29, is a Lahore-born philanthropist. He received early education from Lahore Grammar School and went to the Queen Mary University of London for his undergrad followed by masters at the London School of Economics.
In 2016, at the age of 25, Saqib launched his landmark project ‘Tayaba’ which aims to solve Pakistan’s water crisis.
Rural Pakistani women and children have to transport heavy ceramic jugs of water on their heads over several kilometers, which not only causes injuries but also limits the capacity of water they can bring back home.
Speaking about his innovation, Bilal revealed that the idea originated during his visit to West Africa where he saw people pulling clean water in plastic containers attached to steel bars.
He decided to implement the idea in the rural areas of Sindh and Balochistan. So far, over 5,500 of these H2O Wheels have been distributed in Sindh, helping 30,000 women, children and families from rural areas.
Bilal wanted to come to Pakistan during the summer break, but his plans were halted due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Taking advantage of this opportunity, he has started ‘One Million Meals,’ an initiative to provide NHS staff with free, nutritious and delicious meals during their extended duty hours. Star footballer David Beckham is one of the many celebs to endorse his campaign.