This artist is promoting girls' education one truck at a time


Painting a colourful portrait of a young girl with books in her arms and a message advocating female education, truck artist Hayat Khan paints colourful portraits spreading messages advocating female education. 

Khan has been a truck artist for 35 years, painting vibrant but meaningless portraits of actors and animals. But now there has been a shift in his art endeavours. He says he feels responsible and proud painting portraits of young girl students.

Talking to a English daily, he said that it was very difficult to convince truck owners to let him paint such portraits.

“It took me a long time to convince a few drivers initially, but with the passage of time, I am happy to say, drivers from far-flung areas such as Kohistan and Multan also ask me to paint such portraits on their trucks,” he said.

The truck he was painting has the image of a young girl in a school uniform with a school bag and books. The background is of a village with mud houses and a pond.

A message is also printed with the portrait which says, Kam umri aur zabardasti ki shadi kabil saza jurm hai, or child and forced marriages are punishable crimes.

Hayat Khan has done similar work in Kohistan district under a Unesco project for girls’ right to education as the literacy rate for girls in that district is the lowest in Pakistan.

Renowned documentary maker and activist Samar Minallah assigned Hayat Khan to paint portraits of school-going girls on trucks with the message, Education is Power and Education is Light in Urdu.