“I am from a village in Dera Ghazi Khan. We are seven siblings - five brothers and two sisters. I have never been to school. My father was a daily wager and could not afford to educate us and the nearest school was many miles from our village. I spent my time lazing around when I was younger, and when it was time to earn a living, I could not find work in the village.
Therefore, my brothers and I moved to Islamabad 11 years ago. We started selling dates at various bazaars in Islamabad. This is not our business, someone else has invested in it.
We just sell the fruit and get Rs500 per day from our employer. I got married about seven years ago and have three children.
I did not bring my wife and children to Islamabad as I cannot afford to keep them here. There are no government schools in my village, and the private schools charge Rs500 fee which is too much for me.
Though I want my children to get an education and do not want them to be illiterate like me, I cannot afford to send them to school.
So I have admitted my sons to a madressah where they are getting religious education. Maybe in the future, when I am able
to afford to educate them, I would get my children admitted to schools.
I wish I could have a small business of my own so that I am able to provide my children a better life. The only thing I dread is seeing my children toiling their lives like me. Education can make a difference, and that is what I am aiming for.”
Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2017