The founder of Ajoka theater Madeeha Gauhar (21 September 1956 – 25 April 2018) was a pakistani actress, playwright and director of social theater and women’s rights activist.She fought three years with cancer.She was 61.she was known in asisan countries as well as Europe, With Ajoka she performed in Asia and Europe.
Gauhar was born in 1956 in Karachi . After a master of arts degree in , English literature she moved to England where she obtained another master’s degree, in theater sciences at the university of London.In 1983 Gauhar and her husband shahid nadeem founded Ajoka theater the first theater group of significance there, Gauhar does not limit her practice to classical Western theater techniques.she mixes authentic Pakistani elements with contemporary sentiments. With Ajoka, Gauhar has performed in Pakistan and other countries in the region such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri lanka as well as in Europe. madeha directed three-dozen of plays which were performed at both national and international level
The film and drama actor, director and activist was well known for her commitment to theatre for social change and promoting peace between Pakistan and India. She set up Ajoka theatre in 1984 and collaborated with Indian artists. through its play, has highlighted issues ranging from human rights to women rights and honour killings among others.
In 2003, Government of Pakistan conferred her with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz. she also received international awards for her services which significantly include Prince Clause Award from Netherlands in 2006. Later on, in 2014, Government of Pakistan awarded her with Fatima Jinnah Award.she was the first Pakistani to get the prestigious prince claus award,for her leadership of Ajoka, which was praised by the organisers of the Dutch prize.She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize from Pakistan in 2005.
Gauhar was married to seasoned writer and director Shahid Nadeem. Gauhar was the elder sister of celebrated actress Faryal Gauhar. She is survived by her husband, veteran writer Shahid Nadeem and two sons, Sarang and Nirvaan.