By Lt Col Rashid Zia Cheema (R), 2nd SSC
After giving it much serious thought I have decided to publicly post this narrative, albeit at the risk of being accused of pretentiousness, as I believe that there is some potential for encouragement here for those who may be interested in helping the poor and the needy.
Ayaz Ahmad, a brilliant slum boy from Jampur (District Dera Ghazi Khan), stood 2nd in recent Matriculation Examination conducted by the Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education, DG Khan. He got this position in the Humanities Group (Boys). His father is paralyzed and Ayaz drives a rickshaw to earn a living for his 6 family members (including him) and for the treatment of his father. Against all odds he passed his Matric Exam with laurels. He doesn’t have any means to continue his studies further.
I was in USA when I heard this news on 29 July 2013. The same day I made the following Graphic and posted it in “Stand Up for Pakistan”, a Forum of educated Pakistanis on Facebook. I also requested the Forum members to share that Graphic extensively hoping that it may be seen by some official of Punjab Government or some NGO and they may help this brilliant boy.
At the time of making of the above Graphic, I was not in contact with Ayaz and picked up the information from a newspaper that he has six siblings. Later when I personally contacted him, he told me that he has one sister and two younger brothers.
Samia Aslam, a member of “Stand Up for Pakistan” Forum suggested, “Why we are waiting for the government support or some NGO. Can’t we do anything for him in our personal capacity?”
I liked the idea floated by this lady and asked my family members and Army and civilian friends, living in USA, to donate a little amount for the lad. I suggested to them that anything between $20 to $50 will do. But most of them surpassed my suggested amount by many times. I told them that it will be a sadqa-e-jariya and Allah will reward them for this noble deed. I promised them that I would personally meet the boy to ensure that their hard-earned money would not fall in some scam.
I reached Islamabad on 17 August 2013 and was busy with some family affairs. Then I planned to go to Jampur but my friends told me that it would be a security hazard to go there alone. The abductions for ransom are aplenty in that remote part of the Punjab. I was in a fix when I suddenly remembered that one of my unit officers, Maj Islam-ud-Din Zubade (3rd SSC), had served as Secretary District Armed Services Board Muzzafargarh for many years. He also looked after DG Khan Armed Services Board for some period when its Secretary was retired. I asked him to trace the boy. Maj Islam was an instant help. He called me after an hour, gave me the cell number of Ayaz and told me that he had been in Military Hospital Rawalpindi for the last two weeks in connection with his father’s treatment.
I thanked Allah that the boy was in Rawalpindi and I didn’t have to go all the way to Jampur. It is my strong conviction that if you decide to help a poor and needy person Allah makes it easier for you. And that is exactly what happened in this case. I immediately called Ayaz on his cell phone. His father was not in MH, but was admitted in the Armed Forces Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine (AFIRM) which is located behind the MH.
Ayaz with Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of the Punjab
I met Ayaz and his father, Muhammad Khameesa, in AFIRM on 29 Sep 2013. When Shahbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of Punjab, called all position holders in Lahore, Ayaz requested him for the treatment of his paralyzed father. The Punjab Government immediately took up the case and his father is now being treated free at AFIRM. Khameesa is Masha Allah showing signs of improvement. Now he can move one of his hands, can open his eyes and can eat as well. The boy is confident that they will be able to go back to Jampur in 4 to 6 weeks.
Ayaz with His father at AFIRM, Rawalpindi: Photo courtesy Cancer Care for Needy Patients-CCNP.
The rickshaw of his father is parked at their home back in Jampur as no one is there to operate it. Ayaz is the eldest while he has two younger brothers one of whom is in class 2 and the other is in nursery. Ayaz has been admitted to Government College, Jampur. He has taken up Civics, Political Science and Islamiyat as his Elective subjects in F.A.
I tried to give Ayaz some money which he refused to take. He is a very khuddaar lad. With much effort, I convinced him to accept the financial assistance and told him that he would get his fees and some subsistence allowance regularly. I have asked him to concentrate on his studies and also help his brothers in their school work. His hard work will not go waste and In Sha Allah the standard of living of his family would be improved one day.
I am thankful to all of my friends and relatives who donated funds for the further education of Ayaz Ahmad. I am also thankful to Maj Islam-ud-Din Zubade for his timely help in locating Ayaz. I am a 62 years old man and have no previous experience in social work. Please pray to Allah to give me strength in my efforts to be a liaison between the donors and the brilliant lad Ayaz Ahmad and to provide all of us with opportunities to help the poor and needy people of Pakistan.
I am also thankful to the honourable lady, Samia Aslam, who originally floated the idea of helping this brilliant kid.
Please also pray for complete and speedy recovery of Muhammad Khameesa, so he may once again be able to earn the livelihood of his family and give a free hand to Ayaz Ahmad to concentrate on his studies and help his younger brothers to rise high in education by emulating him. Aameen!
Anyone interested in helping this lad, can send me an email at:
All those who are not in a position to financially help this boy are requested to share this article on their Mailing Lists in order to spread the message. Jazak Allah Khair. The sharing buttons are at the end of this article.
Career Counseling for Ayaz Ahmad
A good-hearted lady, Ameena Sohail, has suggested that some one should provide some career counseling to this strong boy and inform him about some vocational training, the fastest way to get independent and start building a career. She works in an NGO which doesn’t operate in that area. She is trying to find some NGO which is working in this boy’s hometown or nearby area.
The subjects (Civics, Political Science, Islamiyat) selected for study by Ayaz are not good subjects from the point of view of his future life. He will not get a job anywhere with these subjects. He should have gone in to learn some skills from some local technical training centre in Jampur/DG Khan/Multan. There is no dearth of jobs for a skilled person but graduates of type of subjects he has picked up can not even get a lowly paid job .
A Suggested Self Sufficiency Plan for Ayaz Ahmad’s Family
A Senior Army officer Lt Col Arshad Nazir Faridi Chishty (28 PMA Long Course) has suggested that the family of Ayaz Ahmad may be made self-sufficient by initially giving them 20 desi chickens and later, if found profitable/manageable, increase the quantity to 100 chickens. His whole family be asked to breed desi chickens in their home.
Quite a few security guards and retired armed forces men from Pothohaar area were convinced by Col Arshad to make this effort to reduce a part of their poverty. He advised them to start with 20 desi chickens.
Economics of Running a Small Project of 100 Desi Chickens
1. Number of chickens 100
2. Number of eggs per day 100
3, Number of eggs in a month 3,000
4. Price of one egg Rs.12
5. Price of 3000 eggs per month Rs.36,000
1. Expenses per month Rs. 2,000
2. Loss due to Naaghaa of eggs Rs. 1,000
3. Pilferage/ailment Rs. 1,000
4. Further leakage Rs. 1,000
5. Further unforeseen Rs. 2,000
Total Expenses Rs. 7,000
Net Saving: Rs. 29,000 (36,000 minus 7,000=29,000)
With a net saving of Rs. 29,000 per month this family of six people can be made to become fully self-generating, self-respecting with an honorable source of income. There are plenty of rich people who will buy these desi eggs.
Latest about Ayaz’s Father
Unfortunately father of Ayaz Ahmad died in AFIRM Rawalpindi today morning (8 Oct 2013).
إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعــــــــــــــــــــــــــ
His dead body was dispatched in an ambulance which left for Jampur at 0830 am. Please pray for the departed soul.
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