by Tara Kashif
A light emitting from the window of a house in Keti Bandar sears the pitch black darkness that envelops the area. This light is the product of the creativity, zeal and hard work of the children of the house. This house is not only illuminated with electricity, it is also luminous with books, educational tools, and materials.
Jamal and Dodo have made their father, Muhammad Qamar (50 years) a simple, hardworking farmer, proud. They are bright youngsters with extraordinary engineering abilities and talents who have built a 200V inverter and a 3G receiver, thus combating the electricity and mobile signals issues besieging the area. They have also ingeniously built a battery powered by solar energy which they use to illuminate their room for study time every night. They have gratified their father’s ambitious defiance of local customs and traditions by utilizing their education from TCF Soorty Campus by their engineering miracles which instill more hope in their futures.
Muhammad Qamar is an avant-garde for his contemporaries. His articulation of the importance of education with the following words, “It’s not just the big things education helps you with. Even with something as routine as cough, cold or headache it gives you the sense to go to a doctor and not to pirs and faqirs’, are testament of the intelligence of a hardworking, simple Pakistani man, who understands education to be more than a prerequisite of a white-collar job. He recollects with misty eyes, “My elder brother was fond of reading and used to bring magazines and Readers Digest which I would often try to read; by that time it was late for me to go to school but I don’t want my children to meet the same fate.” Undeterred by the onslaught of numerous malicious taunts in his community he stood steadfast in his resolve to get his children, especially his daughter, Anila, educated.
Anila fueled by her father’s passion for education excelled both in academics and extra-curriculars. She has secured the coveted 1st position in her class since 6th grade and 83% in her Matric Board examinations. She has utilized TCF’s vow to provide wholesome education to its students, by winning essay-writing and painting competitions from the WWF who have partnered with TCF on multiple occasions.
Anila’s eyes shine and her young faces beams when she shares her experiences with the following words, “TCF gave me a different exciting world within my otherwise dreary village. The teachers worked hard and encouraged us to excel whereas the school provided us the facilities like lab, library etc. to do just that.”
Her reverence for her father and uncle is evident when she held her head high and said, “My father and uncle resisted community opposition to send us to school.” Anila, now eighteen, is currently residing in Gulshan-e-Hadeed, Karachi with her elder brother to attend private coaching classes every day to prepare for her Intermediate exams to enable her to fulfill her dream of acquiring an education in medicine. She has her father’s support, emotionally and financially, and is working full throttle for gaining a scholarship for AKU. She is preparing with a focused vengeance for the AKU entrance examination later this year.
Muhammad Qamar, Anila, Jamal, and Dodo have sowed a seed of hope of achieving enlightenment and awareness which goes beyond the material gains, they are the epitome of forward-thinking dynamism and courage. Their torch of education, kept alight by TCF, has illuminated the paths for the future generations of the family as well. Their home has become a beacon of light boldly defeating the stacked odds to attain modernity and progress. It is an enlightened, sophisticated space with an environment of intellectual stimulation and creativity, nurtured by TCF and its erudite inhabitants.