Pakistan Civil Award 2020 will go to Sister Ruth Lewis, who died of Covid-19
by Shafique Khokhar

The Franciscan religious was one of the best-known figures in national civil society. Together with her sisters she founded the "House of Peace", intended for mentally and physically disabled people, which has always pushed to engage in sports and the arts. Catholics remember her as "a source of pride for all of us".

Karachi (AsiaNews) - The Pakistani government has awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Civil Award) to Sister Ruth Lewis, a Franciscan from the congregation of Christ the King and one of the best-known figures in national civil society. The nun died on July 20 after contracting coronavirus while assisting some sick children.

Born May 2, 1946, she has always lived and worked in Karachi. Together with Sister Gertrude Lemmens and Sister Margaret D’Costa, she founded the Dar-Ul-Sukun house (the house of peace) intended to accommodate mentally and physically disabled people.

The religious has always pushed "her children" to engage in the world of sport and the arts. Four guests of the house won several medals at the Paralympics that took place in the United States in 1998: the nun has always promoted an inclusive society, in which disabled people also contribute with commitment to the formation of the country.

In addition to the house of peace, Sister Ruth was instrumental in numerous social work projects in Karachi. The letter with which the provincial government of Sindh recommends her for the award mentions several, all addressed to the weakest sections of society.

Mariyam Kashif, a teacher and social activist, remembers her as "a pride for all Catholics and for the whole nation. The decision to reward her is admirable, she truly served humanity without any discrimination.