MINGORA: Unaware of the International Women’s Day, 21-year-old Tahira is busy in tailoring clothes as she is the lone bread earner of her family.
Disabled with one leg due to polio, Tahira works most of the time to support her old parents and five siblings. She feels pride in earning bread for her family and bearing education expenses of her younger brother and sister.
This courageous young woman from Manglawar faced great hardships before learning the skills of sewing and stitching. Her father, who used to carry loads to earn livelihood, is too old to work.
Her elder brother was killed in a road accident just two days before his marriage. Her mother developed heart and mental problems after the sudden death of her brother.
Polio victim Tahira is lone breadwinner of her family
“When my brother suddenly died and my father could not earn livelihood for us, it was only me to support the family. Unfortunately, I was not educated and also had no skills at hand. I was unable to work,” Tahira told Dawn.
She said that she realised the importance of education as she could see some educated girls in her neighbourhood getting employed and earning respectfully to support their families. Her family was dependent on Zakat and charity to make both ends meet.
However, her life was changed when she joined a women’s community organisation “Da Sahar Gul” (WCO). She learnt tailoring under EU-PEACE Programme.
“I got dress making training with a sewing machine that enabled me to sew clothes on commercial basis. Initially I sewed one or two suits in a week but with passing of time I increased the number of suits. Now I can earn enough money to support my family and pay school fees of my brother and sister,” Tahira said with a sparkle in her eyes. She can also buy medicines for her mother.
When her attention was drawn towards celebration of International Women’s Day, Tahira said that government and non-governmental organisations should support women by imparting skills to them instead of organising events in luxury hotels to mark the day.
“What is the benefit of organising events in luxury hotels? If these people want to support women they should spend the money on some useful activities like providing vocational trainings and education to them,” she said.
It is the aim of her life to educate her younger siblings and impart skills to marginalised women. “I want to help in learning tailoring those girls, who can’t afford to get training or have no confidence to get out of home,” she said.
She wants to establish a training centre in her village to help other girls in earning their livelihood.
Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2016