“I came to Islamabad in 2011 from Bajaur to study in a seminary. When I came to the capital, I was a student of 4th grade. Back then, my father was the only bread winner of the family. He worked as a cobbler outside the Secretariat and could not afford our education. So he decided to call me to Islamabad and got me admitted to the seminary where I studied till 2017. After finishing my education at the seminary, I took admission in a government school in G-7 in class 8. At present, I am in the 10th grade.
I am the second among six siblings. My older brother sells watches and also studies in intermediate. Watching him earn, I also decided to follow in his footsteps. I borrowed money from my father and invested in toys. It has been five months now.
It gives me immense satisfaction that I am not burdening my father with my expense. He has other mouths to feed back home in Bajaur. I have two younger brothers and sisters who study.
We have rented a room in G-7 where I live with my brother, father and cousin.
I buy toys from Rawalpindi’s Raja Bazaar and then come to Sitara Market everyday at 5pm where I sell toys till 9pm. I earn between Rs300 and Rs500 daily. I do not give money to my father, instead I send Rs5,000 to my mother every month. We do not have a house in Bajaur either; we live in a house provided to us by a local landlord whose lands we look after.
I go back to my room after work and start studying. I am aiming to become a doctor, and for that I need to study real hard. Let see what the future has in store for me.”
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2019