People Speak

May 25, 2019

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Abdul Majeed, 34, roadside vendor
Abdul Majeed, 34, roadside vendor

“After leaving my job at an NGO for special persons, I started doing this work after a woman from the neighbourhood gave me a weighing scale. It has been one-and-a-half years now.

I worked for the NGO for six to seven years, but I was never paid. The NGO people would pick me up from my home and take me to their office. I studied till fourth grade at Al Farabi School for Special Persons.

We are four brothers and two sisters and I am the only one in my family who is disabled. My father was a government servant and is retired now. Two of my brothers are government servants as well but they live separately. I live with my parents and remaining siblings.

My younger brother does menial work while my sisters remain at home.

Our main source of income is my father’s pension. I chip in with Rs200-Rs300 per day. For me, this is better than begging. At times, I can feel that some people are just getting themselves weighed to help me. They don’t even ask me to check their weight.

I have applied for many government jobs on special persons’ quota but so far have not been lucky enough. One day, I might be successful.

I do not have a fix place. Sometimes I sit in Madina Market in Aabpara and at times at the weekly bazaars. If I have to go further, I request my neighbour to drop me off on his motorcycle. I earn the most at the bazaars as a lot of people come there.

I keep half of my earnings with myself and give the rest to my mother. I am saving money for Umrah as it is my greatest desire to visit the holy land.”

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2019