Dreaming for a better life
By: Wasim Abbas Toor
Obviously life cannot be equally smooth and soothing for all. Some people do have comforts of life while others have to do a hard work even to survive.
Those who cannot catch train think they probably did not select a right path and reached a losing end. Ghulam Muhammad, 65, a barber by profession is among those who think that despite hard work in life for decades, they could not achieve what they wished to.
“I am still in the same position from where I had started decades ago. I have nothing to show as my achievement except for surviving on the minimum.
Ghulam Muhammad has been working in Islamabad for last 22 years at a makeshift shop under a tree in G-9 sector. He hails from a family of barbers from Chakwal. He learnt the profession from his father while he was a child. He has eight children, all out of school, as his daily income Rs 100-150 is hardly enough to feed them.
“How can I afford to send them school when I cannot feed them meat or two times vegetable meals,” replied Ghulam Muhammad when asked about schooling of his children.
His customers like him are the poorest of the poor and from them he charges only nominal rates for hair cutting and shaving.
“Nothing has changed for me during last over two decades, the same mirror and chair under the same tree and same meager income which is not enough even to feed a family. I still sleep under sky at the mercy of insects and mosquitoes,” said Ghulam Muhammad.
He said he has no worries of being looted and always had a sound sleep as he is tuned to ‘living in poverty’. Neither he nor his family has an idea of a luxury.
Probably, Ghulam Muhammad is among those people who do not consume electricity or any other sort of energy and hence help protect the environment what rich and middle class do not do. He only works in day light. He doesn’t either use a cell phone and makes calls to his family from a public call office.
Ghulam Muhammad said though he could not earn sufficient money but he wishes his children should earn by doing any job or small business that does not require educated people.
“I still hope that my children will be out of poverty by their hard work as hope is my last resort,” said Ghulam Muhammad with a firm faith in God. He desires his children give full dedication to their work and respect him for which he deserves.