It’s 7:00 am. Amjad, while sitting cross legged on the floor, in a small room of his home in Korangi, is having breakfast with his wife and six daughters, all clustered around the food mat. It’s time for an animated family chat before everyone sets off for a long day. Amjad is a rickshaw driver who drives along the winding roads of the city, looking for passengers all day, barely making ends meet. “Work is tough these days. It’s hard to tell how many passengers I may get in a day,” he says.
While Amjad strives to make a living wage, his daughters, on the other hand have begun to follow their dreams, carving their own paths to a better future. After studying from TCF Schools, three of Amjad’s daughters are pursuing their tertiary education in some of the best institutions of the country. The eldest one, Amina is enrolled in the Pharmacy Programme at the Dow University of Health Sciences; second in line, Armina, is studying in the BBA Programme at Szabist (Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology), while the third one, Muskan made it to IBA, a premier institute of the country to study Computer Science.
The younger three include Mansha who studies at the TCF College while Jaweria and Alisha still attend their TCF School as first and eighth graders.
“What good would it do to educate your daughters? You should worry about their marriage and dowry instead.” Amjad recounts while sharing some hurtful comments that he is used to of hearing. Relentless in his pursuit to give his daughters the best education possible, Amjad pays little heed to them.
“I couldn’t complete my education, and it’s why I am still struggling to earn a living. But I don’t want the same for my daughters. They should have a firm standing in society,” says Amjad.
Amjad with his daughter Muskan in their home in Korangi.
Muskan, who studies on a full scholarship at IBA, is absolutely proud of her father who remains as their pillar of strength. She can’t wait to complete her degree and support her parents financially.
“There came a time when we lost everything, including our home. That’s when I asked baba (father) to let me work and support the family. He instantly refused, reminding me that only education would change our lives so I must focus on that,” shares Muskan.
Amjad believes that better days are ahead. “I’m very proud of my daughters. I see them working so hard every day. I know that education will change their lives in many ways,” he reaffirms.