Feeble ‘centurion’ still working for a living
RAWALPINDI July 16, 2010: Elderly people are usually considered an asset for families. In our society, they enjoy a special protocol; spend a retired life, relax, play with their grandchildren, go for an evening walk, offer prayers and recite the holy Qur’an besides chairing meetings of family members in the evening over a cup of tea to discuss domestic matters.
But life is not as smooth for all. Some have been left by their near and dear ones, and are waiting for their death, lying in shrines, while many others still have to work hard to earn a livelihood and to keep their stoves burning.
Muhammad Anayat is running a small laundry shop on Shah Bibi Road in the Rahimabad locality of Rawalpindi. He is 75 years old according to his identity card, but claims being aged 104.
Anayat has two daughters and a son who is 55 and helps him at the shop. The family is living on a very small income generated by this shop.
“My son is jobless, so we are living hand to mouth. If my son gets a proper job, our income will increase. I request the government to give employment to my son, because our income from this shop is not enough to meet our needs,” Anayat said.
Anayat makes extra effort to iron clothes. He is feeble and aged, and his arms are not strong enough to lift load. Yet, he has to work to be able to pay the rent of the house that he shares with his family, and the shop, which is their only source of income.
“We pay a monthly rent of Rs4,000 for the small house that we live in while the utility bills consume 3,000-4,000 rupees. Similarly, the rent of the shop is Rs3,000, with another 2,000-3,000 rupees being spent on payment of the electricity bill,” Anayat calculated.
Having cleared all the utility bills, it becomes impossible for Anayat to manage bread and butter for his family. Yet, he thrives on hope, working like a man in his mid-20s. His customers are satisfied with his work and even today, rely on the weak arms of Muhammad Anayat, as they used to decades ago.