I tried to sleep a little after sehri but stayed awake, being abandoned by the realm of dreams. I was somehow reluctant to decide between sleep and lying there awake, made a courageous decision to go out, took a few strolls and witnessed the sunrise. Nature is the best remedy that cures all the bad feelings by urging you to concentrate on its scenic beauty around.
Just after the sunrise, I happened to notice a kid yawning but in a welcoming manner in my street. I approached him and requested for a little part of his time. I asked very humbly if I could ask a few questions, if he did not mind. With a sweet nervousness in his eyes, he gave me the consent to do so. The dialogue between he and I proceeded like this:
Q: What is your name and how old are you?
A: My name is Nizamuddin and I am 12 years old.
Q: What are you doing so early in the morning?
A: The work I do, demands me to get up this early. I collect scrap to make money. I come here daily at this time after Fajr and go back at 7 pm.
Q: Tell me more about your work.
A: I get up early every morning and wander the streets in search of garbage. I then bring it to a person in Sau Quarter (a Christian colony in F-6). He gives me money for this. Then, at the end of the week, I bring the money to my father.
Q: Where do you live, how do you come here, and how much do you work?
A: I spend the night at Sau Quarter daily, but my real home is near Golra mor. My father drops me here at the start of every week. I stay here for the entire week, wandering the streets to make money and I visit my family only at weekends.
Q: Do you have friends? Are you happy with this life?
A: Yes, I am happy. Every other scrap collector is my friend. We play when we all meet. I can play every game. I can bowl and hit sixes too. (he smiles)
Q: Do you like this work? Don’t you dislike people for throwing this garbage?
A: No, I don’t like it. There is just garbage, garbage the whole day. It is not good. I dislike the garbage, not the people!
Q: What do you want to become in life, how much money do you think you’ll make in future?
A: Whatever life makes me, I will become. I don’t know. I will be studying then. I want to do the work that keeps me near my mom. I love her very much.
Q: You look very happy. Don’t you dislike anything about the life you live?
A: What can I do? But I am happy. (and he leaves, waving to me)
Despite all these hardships life has to offer Nizamuddin, he faces them manly and stays happy. His sweet and honest replies made me ponder over our current situation, that how we allow sadness to get in our lives. I myself, having everything that I want, stay unhappy and ungrateful towards this luxurious life. And he, not even having what he needs, finds a way to stay cheerful as much as he can. Moreover, he is, without any doubt, optimistic about his future. The thought dawned on me that life will find you the way you find it.
The thing that shattered me was the response I got when I approached him. See, I, being a member of this society, was the sole reason for his unhappy moment of a pleasant morning. He somehow saw the same hostility, the dislike such kids experience everywhere. It is the time to realize that
They are kids just like ours. We have to stop treating them like aliens.
They already are fighting with so many problems. We should not be adding anymore.
Written by: Muzammil KamranTags: child labor, public messages, street children campaign