Awaz-CDS-Pakistan was founded by Zia ur Rehman along with a politically enlightened group of local university graduates in 1995. This group led by Zia were mindful of widespread ignorance, poverty, sectarianism, violence, non-democratic culture & values, human especially women rights violations and social backwardness. Especially in the region of Southern Punjab, where they belonged and where feudalism and constant military regimes provided impetus to this group of youth. “Awaz” is an Urdu word, which means ‘voice’. The whole idea was very well thought through, to provide a platform to facilitate and capacitate marginalized communities to raise their voice against socio-economic and political disparities of the region, unlike contemporary NGOs which usually mushroom in the aftermath any man made or natural disaster.
Since its inception, Awaz continued to pursue its passion for realization of human rights and dignity, gender equality, eliminating poverty, trying for equality of opportunities, combating injustices, voicing for quality education especially for girls and holding government accountable for providing its people a dignified life. For over 22 years, Awaz is continuously providing voice to unheard populations and building capacities of marginalized communities to raise their voices against social injustices and other socio-economic and political disparities.