Peshawar’s first female tour guides have launched their start-up with aim to reveal the historical and cultural richness of Peshawar walled-city to foreigner and local tourists.
KasabGar, a social enterprise has initiated a program to create a soft image of Peshawar and establish smart city models in city. To start with this initiative KasabGar with the support of US Embassy, piloted a project of training young men and women as tour guides for Peshawar to promote the pluralistic, peaceful and progressive image of the city.
Aqsa and Ammara, founders of ‘‘Travel Trek Peshawar’’ have taken initiative of their start-up after getting a hand-on tour guide training ‘‘ReThink Peshawar’’, a project launched by KasabGar.
Aqsa, founder of Travel Trek Peshawar and a training participant said that interior walled-city of Peshawar has witnessed terrorism and deadly blasts in past. The historic sites of inner city including Qissa Khwai Bazar were known for these massive blasts, masking the cultural richness and heritage of these places. After stability and peace restoration, we need to promote the positive and progressive image of city.
“Peshawar has a lot to offer, the city remained hub of diverse civilizations, the traces of which could be found in the walled-city. We have introduced different tour packages, our guided tours includes Qissa Khuwani Bazar, Prithi Raj Kapoo’s Haweli, Ghanta Ghar, Ghorkhatri, famous Sethi House and many others ,” she said.
Aqsa shared that Travel Trek Peshawar will encourage women to take tour of city as view it from different perspective. It’s time to break the stereotype of restricting tour guides and public spaces to men only.
Madeeha, founder of another start-up Rozi Tour Guide, shared that there is dire need of engaging women in public spaces without any social barriers. Our initiative will make ways for other women to come forward. She expressed that by limiting women activities, their public spaces and social engagements, we cannot achieve gender balanced society.
For the first time in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 14 tour guides has been trained for Peshawar city including females graduates. These tour guides received four days training on tourism, tour guiding skills, communication and marketing skills, and practical tour of the walled city. Upon completion of training the tour guides established their social media portals as tour guides start up and introduced basic touring packages for Peshawar. The project has also been supported and encouraged by Directorate of Archeology and Museums, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.