International Labor Day Observed:
Working Conditions for Women still Deplorable
Poverty compels humans to do everything especially when life becomes malicious. Mastaan Bibi sells spectacles as a vendor in Aabpara Market. Her husband, Zakir Hussain, who suffered from kidney disorder, had died 12 years ago. She has three daughters and a son, who are all minors. She has been living at Muslim Town, Rawalpindi for the last 12 years after the death of her husband.
She puts up for sale eyeglasses in the heart of the Capital for her four children. She has so many different goggles in varying shades t attract the customers. “I come here in the morning and go back home after the sunset. However, I manage to earn money which is barely enough to meet my day to day expenditure. I am the only bread winner of my family and there is no silver lining,” remarked Mastaan Bibi talking to INFN.
I live in a rented house and have to pay 3000 per month at all cost. I am really afraid to hear the alarming news of increase in price of petroleum products as it results in more gas and electricity bills and the general price-hike,” she remarked analytically.
“I sell 3 to 5 specs a day that saves me one hundred rupees so a simple calculation goes that I am earning just enough to pay for the roof I live under, what to talk of luxurious items like bread, butter, meat, chicken – these are all dream items for poor people like us,” she said weeping.
She further told, “My children do not go to school. I had so many desires about their bright future and education. I did not want them to be venders like me. However, I have started to realize that my children won’t be able to escape this vicious circle of poverty which the laborers like me inherit from one generation to another.” She shifted from interior part of Sindh to Rawalpindi with a hope to improve her living standard, but as the bad luck had it, she has not been able even to build a shade on her vender and still sits in the open air.
When asked by INFN to comment on the International Labor Day being observed in Pakistan, “Death is far better than living this life of deprivation,” was her message as she tried to hide the tears trickling down her cheeks.