Who will address their miseries?
By: Sohail Rashid
ISLAMABAD: While passing from road, a person sitting in a luxury car could easily criticise the road side barbers by saying them encroachers. He may also say them a health hazard. We never try to look into their life. How miser able their condition is and how they are passing their time in current era of inflation. We never appreciate them for their hard work. They could also adopt begging as profession like many other people but they prefer to earn with legal means.
Muhammad Arif, a road side barber has a similar story. He works in open along with his son in sector I-11. He hails from Bhimber Azad Kashmir and working as barber since his childhood. His family lives in AJK while he is living in a rental room with his innocent son.
“I know that Shaban (his son) should be in a school and that it is not his age of work but it is his time to play and enjoy like other children. Alas, I can’t afford to let him to go in a school and I have to use him as my helper in my work because of my torn condition” Arif said with a heavy heart.
He further said that most of the time he has to face strict and some time odd behaviour from police. “I am treated as encroacher and I confess that I am an encroacher but what should I do? I don’t have any other option than to work in open on footpath and I don’t have enough means to hire a shop on rent” he explained.
While telling about his past life he said that he left school from 6th class because of unfavourable conditions and from that time he is working as a barber. He had also work with army on contract. “I am also a cook and I can make every type of dishes but due to lack of means, I can’t afford to buy cooking equipment” he added.
“My per day earning remains bellow than 300 rupees this is just a peanut in this time of inflation” he said. He further said that he has to eat two time meal from the hotel. He has to separate a sufficient amount for his family too which is living in AJK. “I have to go to home after every 15 days because I have to look after of my family as I have no other brother or any one else at home” he added.
His son Muhammad Shaban, while talking to INFN said that he loves to play cricket when ever he goes to home. When he was asked about his studies, he said “I haven’t even seen any school as a student because my father is a poor man. Now my age is 10 year and I think my time of schooling has expired” he said while making the shave of a customer.
The first target of Muhammad Arif is to make a personal shop where he could work with dignity while building of a personal house is his last goal. “I want to provide my family with a house before leaving this world” he concluded.