KARACHI: Flight attendant Tauheed Daudpota was serving on a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Islamabad to Karachi on March 11 when a baby began to cry as the exhausted mother struggled to care for her other child. He took the infant from the mother and comforted it.
Within hours, photos and videos showing the baby falling asleep in his arms went viral, gaining Daudpota widespread praise, with UN Women Pakistan declaring him a HeForShe Champion “for displaying empathy, gender sensitivity, respect and care” to a woman passenger.
HeForShe is a solidarity movement for the advancement of gender equality, initiated by the UN.
Daudpota said that gender equality can make the world a better place.
“Every man should be a helping hand to a woman because our religion teaches us equality of men and women, the male and the female,” Daudpota told Arab News.
Mr. Touheed Daudpota, crew of #PIA, whose photos of soothing a baby went viral, was declared by @unwomen_pak the #HeforShe champion for displaying empathy, gender sensitivity, respect & care to a women pax, upholding long traditions of '#GreatPeopletoFlyWith' #GenerationEquality pic.twitter.com/Gr76ZeRIeL
— PIA (@Official_PIA) March 22, 2021
“If each one plays their part positively by helping each other, the society, the country and the whole world will be better. These are the lessons of the religion, which I was taught by my family, my mother and father.”
Daudpota hails from Shikarpur, a small town in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, and has been a PIA employee for 34 years.
When the baby started crying, the flight attendant said he first sent two women cabin crew to help, but when neither was able to soothe the infant, he went to assist the mother himself.
“I took the baby, and he was looking at me and then when I took him on the shoulder, he slept well and took proper rest,” Daudpota said.
A video shared by PIA shows him being decorated with a UN Women Pakistan medal.
“I’m glad to serve this airline, this nation, the whole world, wherever PIA goes and lands,” Daudpota said, adding that he was grateful for the recognition and hoped it will help change social norms that made childcare solely a woman’s job.
“This is a combined effort in a normal life,” he said.
Children are as much the responsibility of fathers as they are of mothers, he added. “We take care of our babies.”