An old horseshoe-maker with a big heart
ISLAMABAD, October 22, 2010: In old age, people belonging to the elite class mostly pass their time with their grandchildren at homes or taking a stroll in the park. The seniors belonging to the middle class are usually given the status of head of the family and provided with care and respect. Then comes the third category, in which old people have to struggle for their livelihood till their last breath.
Kamil Jan belongs to the third category. He is working hard to keep the clock of life ticking even at the age of 80. He prepares horseshoes by sitting on a sack at roadside in Sector I-11 of Islamabad. The man from Mardan lives in a slum with his family.
“Preparing horseshoes was the profession of my ancestors. I had learnt this art from my father when I was a child”, said Kamil Jan while talking to INFN. He said that he has been making horseshoes independently since 1955.
“I had worked at Fawara Chowk in Rawalpindi for more than 45 years when Raja Bazaar was the hub of tongas. When the government imposed a ban on the movement of tongas in Rawalpindi, my business came to an end. I was very famous among tongawalas for my skill at that time”, Kamil said while recalling his golden period.
When Kamil was asked why didn’t he opt for any other trade when his business came to an end after the ban on tonga service, he replied with a smiling face that he wasn’t made for any other job. “I love to continue my father’s profession. Now my son has also adopted this profession and I am very happy with his decision”, he added with pride in his eyes.
Talking about his routine, he said that he sits at the roadside daily from dawn to dusk. “Now most of my customers are those who have pet horses. These people usually belong to the elite class who pay me an extra amount through which I manage my expenditures”, he said.
Kamil Jan is not only a horseshoe maker, but he is also a book of history as he had observed all ups and downs of Pakistan’s history. He is an admirer of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. “You people know nothing about the role played by Mohammad Ali Jinnah in getting a separate homeland for the Muslims. Now our leaders are not sincere with the country”, he whispered.
Kamil Jan is not the only one in the country who is facing a tough time in old age. Our factories and markets are full of such people who are toiling hard in their old age. These people have given their whole life to this country. Now it is the responsibility of the state and society to provide them with at least basic necessities of life.