Fated to Suffer till Death
The feeble hands of Haleema Bibi in her 80s still cut the grass using a sickle like any youth without knowing what’s going on around her near Sawan Village on Islamabad Highway.
She has three daughters who have been married when she lived in Charsada nearly two decades ago. Her husband, a woodcutter by profession, also died 15 years ago and she shifted to Sawan Village because no one was left with her.
Among her belongings is a goat that she carried with her from Charsada. She has great attachment with the beast that is why she cuts grass for it along the edge of busy Islamabad Highway.
Talking to the INFN, she told that some one has given her shelter to pass the night and she is given meal by neighbors, makes tea on her own in the morning. Often fellow citizen give her some money from which she buys medicine etc.
When asked by INFN about the President of Pakistan, she replied,” I don’t know about the president of Pakistan, but I knew about the Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan who made atom bomb for our country”.
“I do not want to go back to my village because there are so many nostalgic memories of my deceased husband that make me sad in this old age,” she shared with tears sparkling in her eyes.
In her last will she has requested to the people living in her neighborhood that after her death she should be buried at Sawan Village. “I want to die because I am really fed up of this depressed life, which depends on others’ alms and assistance,” Haleema Bibi told with a heavy heart. People help her on different occasions, especially on Eid, and bring some cloths and shoes as well for her and she celebrates the festivals with unfamiliar persons as if they are members of her family.
Although, I want to spend the last stage of my life in ease and know that I have spent my time and I am approaching death fast yet Happiness and I are still on different pages. It is desperately needed that the government, non government organizations and the civil society should come forward for the welfare of such old citizens especially the women and build old-age houses for them where they can spend the last few years of their life in a peaceful and dignified manner.