Editor: Rana Qaisar   
Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Life in alleys of Rawalpindi 

17 Maart 2012 01:16:11

Life in alleys of Rawalpindi
Poor woman in dire need of financial help

Parveen Akhtar had never imagined, even in her wildest dreams, that one day she would have to take care of her three invalid children all by herself.

Her life took an ugly turn after the death of her husband, who was a security guard, five years back. Now she has to take care of her invalid children – a 23-year-old daughter and two sons, aged 20 and 18. She is also bearing the expenses of her youngest daughter’s education.

“I thank God all the time that one of my children is healthy and can move around without any sort of help,” Parveen Akhtar told Infochange News and Features Network (INFN). With a visible sense of pride in her eyes, she said that her youngest daughter is a student of Secondary School Certificate (SSC). “She is an intelligent kid and apple of my eye,” she added.

The family lives in a rented house along Hafeez Road near Viqar-un-Nisa College. The widow has to pay Rs 4,500 to the homeowner every month.

The invalid children keep Parveen Akhtar occupied throughout the day. She has to literally pamper them – from taking them to the toilet to feeding them and giving them a bath.

Parveen Akhtar used to do odd jobs in nearby houses to feed her family. Her range of work included doing people’s laundry and dishes in addition to maintaining cleanliness in houses.

But time has taken its toll. Parveen Akhtar is no more as active as she once used to be. She can no longer work in a number of houses to earn more and more money. She can no longer work for extended hours, as her invalid children have become more demanding and need her all the time.

Now Parveen Akhtar has reduced her work to a couple of houses. This means that she is earning only a little amount every month. Her neighbours are gracious enough. The women living in the neighbourhood regularly visit the family and do whatever in their means to help the poor woman.

If there are relatively good times, there are bad times too! Sometimes the family has to go to bed hungry. Speaking in a hesitant tone and with tears in her eyes, Parveen Akhtar told INFN “If someone helps me in paying the rent of my house or if someone pays expenses of my daughter’s education, I will pray for such person for the rest of my life.”

Parveen Akhtar can be contacted on mobile phone 0307-5091771.