When life gives you lemons, lets cook a great meal – Humaira Anjum, Owner of Dastarkhuwan

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It is inspiring to say the least when you see women who rise from ground above, who are the epitome of resilience, determination and hardwork. These stories need to be talked about more often, shared more often for all of us to learn a lesson or two.

Humaira Anjum is a self-motivated and determined woman whose story is bound to make us proud. There are very few examples of such perseverance and self-driven individuals who have become a backbone for their families.

She is the face behind the culinary spectacle, Dastarkhwan that serves luncheon to particularly working professionals and households. At the age of 50 she is gratefully established all thanks to the big idea that changed her and her family’s life a few years back.

Humaira moved from Hyderabad to Karachi back in 2001 when the shift was itself a challenge and to top it up her circumstances persuaded her to think of a big idea that would uplift the then position of her family apart from maintaining a decent standard of living. Home based female entrepreneurs are often expected to resort to sewing and stitching dresses as a means to earn livelihood, however, Humaira decided to take up a different profession as this was not possible due to her cervical issue.

Hence, she thought of starting a food business, Dastarkhwan, though it turns out to be physically exhausting at times, there is nothing as rewarding as income generated through one’s own hard work.

A mother of two boys and a girl, she understands the trials of a fast paced professional life and the need for a healthy and nutritious lunch that is like typical homemade food, hence fulfilling the concept of ‘ghar ka khana’ (homemade food) or rather ‘maa kay haathoun ka paka ghar ka khana’ (homemade food cooked by mother).

Her day starts off alongside Fajr as she starts cooking while following a daily menu that she prepares based on her regular customers’ suggestion. She then gathers the entire meal and commutes all the way from her home in Nipa to Executive Towers, Clifton, covering 24 kilometer distance, where she runs a canteen, Food Factory. As she reaches her destination around noon, her food lovers are there eagerly waiting for her where her work day lasts till 5 in the evening.

Humaira’s family has been a great support as her husband helps with groceries and children with her culinary activities. Thanks to the couple’s perseverance and determination their three children are now educated with one boy having done his MBA and another ACCA, while their daughter is studying Interior Designing. Humaira has thus been able to give her children the privilege of proper education. She now aspires to be a restaurant owner some day.

Stories like these give hope, that we all can do great things, all we need is a little courage and lots of will power. May the women in this country keep doing good today and always!