Editor: Rana Qaisar   
Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

It is not his loss alone, the nation will suffer someday 

12 Julie 2011 10:24:26 nm

It is not his loss alone, the nation will suffer someday


Ikram is steadfast in the face of hurdles despite being young


Ikram Khan, 11, is a school going lad, who works as a trash collector on the city Saddar road Rawalpindi. His father Aikal Khan is a green grocer at Islamabad Sabzi Mandi. He has been living at Dhok Mangtal Rawalpindi in a rented house for Rs 3000 a month. Ikram has 3 sisters and 1 brother who are all school-going but poverty prevents them from this fundamental right so Ikram is compelled to collect trash from the roads and garbage from the streets and is happily taking this responsibility on his weak shoulders as a challenge.


Ikram Khan said talking to INFN, “I want to go to school but poverty is a huge hurdle between me and education. I am doing this for my younger brother and sisters who wait for sweets and food at night when I come back home at about 8 pm. I cannot see their hunger and their needs encourage me for this work despite being 11 years old,” Ikram said with innocent face.


He earns 200 rupees throughout the day and gives it daily to his father for using it to run the day to do expenditure. His brother and sisters do not go to school anymore for which Ikram is so worried because he knows about the importance of education in this modern age. He does not believe in defeat but is also a firm believer in hard work.


Ikram further said to INFN, “We bought clothes only on Eid because I save money for that day and bought cloths and shoes to my younger brother and sisters also for whom I do hard physical work in these days, I want to educate my brother and sisters,” Ikram wept while talking.



The government’s failure to apply national and international laws in protection of the rights of children speaks volumes about its performance regarding the child labour issue. An estimated 158 million children aged 5-14 are still engaged in child labour and Ikram is one of them who is compelled to do this for his family needs. There is a dire need for elimination of child labor in Pakistan as it negatively affects human capital development and the overall national development agenda. When children do not go to schools they are denied the knowledge and skills needed for national development.