PESHAWAR: British author and environmental activist Maureen Lines passed away in Peshawar on Saturday. She was 80, and was laid to rest at the Peshawar Christian graveyard. The social volunteer, known as the ‘barefoot doctor’, for scurrying through the Kalash valley for treatment of locals, dedicated her life to improving the welfare of the Kalash community. In 1980, she permanently moved to Pakistan, and settled down in Birir village of the mountainous valley in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. For her services, the government awarded her with the prestigious Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in 2017.
Lines, who established the Kalash Environmental Protection Society (KEPS) in 1993, was granted the citizenship of Pakistan in 2004. She often contributed articles for local newspapers and magazines over social and environmental issues of the province. “I feel pain in my heart,” said Adil Zarif, an environment activist, who was present at the Christian graveyard to attend her funeral. “She was a great human being who knew how to fight for the poor.” He added: “She gave all her energy and resources to those she cared for. I count her among the heroes of this land.” Zarif said that for the last few months, her health condition had deteriorated. “The body was indeed failing but her spirit was as bright as ever,” he said.