WRITER Lila Shahani, youngest daughter of former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani from Pangasinan, was recently given recognition by the Writers International Network Canada for her work in putting to the fore the plight of the poor and the abused.
“My subject of interest is the disempowered. I write what’s in my head and I don’t pander to the market, because I want to remain a social critic, nothing more,’’ said Shahani who was in Vancouver last January 14 to receive the Outspoken Writer Award and deliver a speech on “Human Trafficking: Philippine, Canadian and Global Context” at the University of British Columbia’s Liu Institute for Global Issues.
In her speech, citing her personal encounter with a woman who has had a difficult life, she ponders, “How do I help this woman, I had to ask myself? She wanted a high school degree at all costs, which meant that she would have to turn tricks for years in order to be able to do so. Unless new programs were put into place for those who have not had the benefit of a grade school education — such as victims of trafficking, abuse and war.”
Shahani, currently serving as assistant secretary and head of communications for human development and poverty reduction under the Aquino administration, said her mission is to be the “voice of the voiceless masses who are abused sexually, emotionally and physically”.
Aside from her written works, Shahani also recently co-edited a book by Oxford scholars on Noble Laureate Amartya Sen’s theories on economic development.— (Ref: newseastwest.com)