Ibrahim gazes in empty space as he contemplates about the uncertainties of his future
Sometimes scarcity binds us to do anything when life becomes cruel. Ibrahim, 18, sells spectacles in these hot days as a vendor on the edge of IJP road in Islamabad to earn living for his family. His father Abdul Rehman is a heart patient so he lives at home throughout the day because doctors have advised him complete bed rest. Ibrahim has 6 bothers and 3 school-going sisters at home. His 3 brothers are also doing the same work as selling spectacles on the roads of Islamabad. He has been living at Dhok Mangtal in Rawalpindi in a rented house for about 5000 rupees.
Ibrahim shared his woes while talking to INFN, “We had a house on rent for about Rs. 5000 per month, which is not affordable. I am afraid of high gas and electricity bills which make the expenses reach about 9000 in a month. I sell 3 to 5 spectacles in a day, saving 100 rupees only so how can I run my house? My father is also on bed from last 6 months and my mother waits at home for vegetables and food which is a huge responsibility on my shoulders.”
He puts up for sale eyeglasses on his vendor board and he has so many different goggles in dissimilar shades for his customers according to the summer season which he sells for about 40, 50 and 80 rupees. “Mostly bike riders buy my glasses for protection from sun rays and heat therefore, I stand here on the edge of IJP road. I come here in the morning and go back home after the sunset,” he shared his tough routine.
He further said, “My three sisters who go to school are a driving force for me to work hard as it is very painful of all of us when we cannot pay their school fee and cannot buy books for them. I have so many desires about my sisters’ education and their marriages. I do not like that they spend their lives like me as uneducated in this modern age.”
Ibrahim has devoted his life for his family.
“I cannot go back home if I have insufficient money because my family waits for food so I have to sell my goggles till late. We have shifted here from Bajur Agency with the hope that we would change our worthless life into a joyful one but we have not seen any change yet,” he sighed.
Ibrahim has no shelter above his vendor board and is sitting in the open air. When it rains, he puts his spectacles under a tree. He buys these spectacles on credit from market and after selling them, pays back the money. Life is too much with him as a huge responsibility lies on his young shoulders, which has made him forget his own desires and dreams.