Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience



Your Name:

Recipient Email:

NAQEEBULLAH Ehsas at his office.
NAQEEBULLAH Ehsas at his office.

QUETTA: “Many people told me that I was a curse and burden for my family. Some even advised me to commit suicide,” says Naqeebullah Ehsas, a man hit by poliovirus in his childhood and still unable to walk.

Sharing the most traumatic yet game-changing experience of his life, he says, “I used to crawl away on a two-kilometre-long rugged road in a harsh mountainous area to go to and return from the primary school in my village.

“During that journey, once I was intercepted by two elderly men who beat me blue and black, furiously punched me and kicked me as if they wanted to kill me. Why, I don’t know.

“I was traumatised. But I turned my grief into my power and decided that I am not going to continue living this wretched life,” a confident Ehsas says.

He was born in a poor family in Churmayun village of Balochistan’s Pishin district. If not for his strength and endurance, he would have been dead or leading a miserable life.

But he is alive and strong. “I did my BA in Social Sciences and MA in Pashto literature. Will earn my Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree in December after which I plan to go for PhD,” Ehsas said.

Naqeebullah Ehsas who used to crawl to school now lives a successful life and wants other polio victims to follow suit

He told Dawn that as anchor he hosts two programmes for Radio Pashtun and PTV, is a poet and a lecturer in a government college in Quetta. Most of all, he is working to uplift the lot of special people and give them the due place they deserve in society. He runs an NGO, Physically Handicapped Welfare Association.

Ehsas says he is inspired by a quote from Confucius: “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”

It relates to his life and encourages him to keep on struggling and achieving success after success.

But all these successes hadn’t come easy. He has gone through extreme adversity. The physical labour he had to endure to perform very simple routine tasks of everyday life, like walking.

But, above all, it is the social stigma he faced during his childhood which pains him most even now. “People’s misunderstanding and ill treatment hurt me more than the burden of being crippled.”

Like every media reporter, I am also an inquisitive self, but here I felt that I have been sort of knocked down by Ehsas.

I had no more questions to ask...

After a long pause of heavy and crushing silence, I made an uneasy move with the intention of taking leave from him. Ehsas read my mind and said smilingly, “Let me tell you a story that changed my life.

Then he narrated the episode of him being beaten by two old men when he was a small child.

“The enraged assailants took turns to thrash me, showered my legs with kicks and pounded on my back. Until, they were too tired. I thought I would die but survived by the grace of God,” he paused.

“This tragic incident changed my life and helped me to withstand miseries and inspired me to succeed in life.” He continued “Because I wanted to prove the old men were wrong”.

Ehsas completed his elementary education in his village confronting a lot of challenges. Then he shifted to Quetta where he enrolled in a high school in special education programme. During his high school period, he worked in a clinic to earn money for his living expenses and payment of school fee. Later he worked as a junior clerk at a government organisation.

“Like the pendulum, I am still simultaneously living in two different worlds,” he said.

“I am still haunted by the agonising memories of my past. The unbearable pain which marked the tender days of my childhood is still imprinted on my soul. The stain is impossible to remove. Though I have left that phase of my life far behind, and am now a happy person and a role model for others, a successful man, the irritation caused by my crutches transports me to my excruciating past.”

“I wish no one suffered what I had gone through.”

Ehsas sighed slightly and continued, “Whenever I read or hear that polio virus is still active in Quetta and some other parts of the country, I am shocked. I am afraid that more and more children are going to be affected by polio and destined to live a miserable life.”

“Not everyone is going to make it like me. We need to stop this virus to save our coming generation,” Ehsas insists.

“If we fail, the next generation would be laughing at us that we couldn’t fight with a tiny virus. We couldn’t eradicate polio due to our failure to educate unaware and gullible parents who buy conspiracy theories against the vaccine,” he said.

It was time to leave. I had no words to say to Ehsas, but told him that he is a blessed soul and God is happy with the successes he has achieved.

Let me conclude by his wonderful phrase. “People’s misunderstanding is more dangerous than the virus.”

Published in Dawn October 24th, 2016

Comments (24) Closed

Imran Khan Oct 24, 2016 12:13pm


Kutubuddin Oct 24, 2016 12:24pm

Salute you Mr .Naqeebullah Ehsas - You are successful in life and career by your struggle and inspiring others. Great Great Great. Thanks to the author.

Khadar Basha Oct 24, 2016 12:29pm

Naqeebullah Ehsas is a real hero, I admire him.

MAZHAR Oct 24, 2016 12:36pm

Thank you Dawn for sharing such a great real life story of courage and determination. He is a role model for all of us who keep on complaining about anything and everything. Please remember there are people around the world who care and wish you good luck on your journey of life. God bless you.

TM Oct 24, 2016 12:43pm

Naqeebullah, you are a real source of inspiration for all of us. People like you should be brought forward to this ailing nation, who wants every thing served in plate. Salute to you dear and best wishes for your future endeavors................

ahsan Oct 24, 2016 12:45pm

he is real hero

Rabia Oct 24, 2016 12:58pm

I really salute his courage and strength of character! Wish him success in all his efforts to uplift the community. He may be considered physically crippled but he is leading a more meaningful and successful life than many perfectly healthy people just doing nothing!

Ali S Oct 24, 2016 01:06pm

God bless you Ehsas and punish those elderly men who beat you - it's a microcosm of what's wrong with our society: the frail will pick on those even weaker than them if they get the opportunity.

ak Oct 24, 2016 01:23pm

What a man!!!!!

Zulu Oct 24, 2016 01:32pm

“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”

Hawris Oct 24, 2016 01:36pm


FM Oct 24, 2016 02:54pm

Great Guy! i too was bullied in school for using crunches n stuff but i went to cambridge later on n now am quite satisfied with my lifestyle AH.. so we need to share such stories.. also we need to teach kids that they should respect n help such ppl (they would never ask anyone for help - ever) .. many times they face social isolation at some point in life for obvious reasons.

Tina Oct 24, 2016 03:01pm

Some day I wish I can meet you sir! And just hug you!

Ibneadam Oct 24, 2016 03:02pm

Brought tears in my eyes. He should be front man in the fight against Polio campaigns.

Abaid Oct 24, 2016 03:21pm

Your story is truly a source of inspiration for every reader!!

Kamran aka the Hyderabadi Oct 24, 2016 04:14pm

An unsung hero.

Staki Oct 24, 2016 05:33pm

Thank you for highlighting Ehsas's triumph over adversity. Best wishes to him and hope he continues to succeed in his life. Heartening to note that the cruel treatment that he endured from savage mindless brutes did not kill his will to overcome his difficulties but inspired him . Pakistan has many hero's and heroines but has its share of villains too that allow a vaccine preventable disease like polio to remain a scourge of the innocents.

Youth Oct 24, 2016 05:56pm

Thank you Dawn for sharing his inspirational story.

Mohsin A Kazmi Oct 24, 2016 07:28pm

Thank you for sharing your inspiring story; it illustrates both the best and the worst of humanity. A society can be cruel, but a strong individual has the strength to defeat it. All the best to you!

Khan-haqiqi Oct 24, 2016 07:33pm

Bravo, may allay grant you the strength to fulfill your dreams.

Sudhir Oct 24, 2016 07:58pm

It feels sad that Mr. Ehsas has to go through all these hardships. He will serve as a beacon of hope for other people who feel depressed with similar troubles. May God give him all success in future endeavors.

Ali Kazmi Oct 24, 2016 09:39pm

GOD BLESS you sir..... Inspiration for the most who are on the verge of breaking or lost all hope..... We should make a habbit to encourage as it really mattes alot in changing one's life completely.

Gul Hasan Oct 24, 2016 10:23pm

Excellent job Naqeebullah. You should a role model for the entire country, achieving honestly what you really wanted, I would go as far as to suggest that our politicians who are actually mentally crippled learn from your example that is how to work hard honestly to achieve fame and respect. You are definitely an achiever.

Harambe of Cincinnati Oct 25, 2016 04:09am

@Gul Hasan : Great and timely account M.r Ahsas! Emotional abuse and social isolation are the worst brutes--especially coming from "two old men" --great repositories of wisdom and tradition!