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LAHORE: Ajoka Theatre founder, playwright, actor and director of social theatre Madeeha Gauhar passed away in Lahore on Wednesday after a prolonged battle with cancer.
Her funeral prayers will be held on Thursday evening, according to Geo News. Madeeha was suffering from cancer for the past three years.
The actor, director and women’s rights activist founded Ajoka Theatre in 1984 as part of her commitment to theatre for social change.
Ajoka’s plays have been based on social issues and human rights such as female literacy and honour killings. Ajoka has performed in various countries across Asia and Europe and has also staged productions in backyards and open spaces in poor localities to raise awareness.
In 2006, Madeeha became the first Pakistani to be honoured with the prestigious Prince Claus Award for her leadership of Ajoka. The award was given to her by Ambassador of Netherlands Willem Andreae.
Madeeha was married to veteran writer and director Shahid Nadeem and was the elder sister of renowened actress Faryal Gauhar. Her daughter, Savera Nadeem, is also an actress, director, and producer.
Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif extended condolences to Gauhar’s family. “Madeeha Gauhar was a talented performer who transformed theatre,” Shehbaz said.
“Her services to TV and theatre will be remembered forever,” he added.