By Jahanara Shiraz - Manager, Academics (Non-formal Education)
Amanullah is a 12-year-old boy who spends four hours every morning scavenging through garbage outside bakeries and dumpsters for scrap and recycleables. He sells the plastic, metal and paper to a scrap salesman for Rs 200 - about $2 - and gives the returns to his father. If he ever makes anything over Rs 200, he gets to keep it as pocket money. Everyone in his family from his father and his forefathers to his cousins worked as a scavenger. But Amanullah was a boy who dreamed of a different life.
Today he is studying in the second grade at Zindagi Trust's School for Working Children in Dhamia Rawalpindi. He considers himself lucky because there was no concept of sending children to school in his family. The school is located almost at his doorstep - until a couple of years ago, he used to stand by the boundary wall of the school every day, listening wistfully to the sound of children reading in their classrooms.
"My school is changing my life," he says. "My Urdu teacher is very kind and caring to all children."
Thanks to her, he has developed a habit of reading which is also supporting his overall academic performance. Even at work, he hunts old books from vendors for the pleasure of reading. He treasures these old story books. He feels like it was a miracle that his father enrolled him in the same school and encouraged him to concentrate on his studies.
Amanullah says the great humanitarian, Abdul Sattar Edhi, has made a huge impact on his life. Inspired by Edhi, he wants to be an attendant in a hospital and take care of the elderly patients who are unable to perform routine tasks like eating, bathing and so on. He realizes that it will be a long, hard journey to achieve his goal but he believes that if he is passionate about doing something, nothing is out of reach. He hopes that with the support of Zindagi Trust he will be able to complete his Matriculation and qualify to work in a hospital. Please consider making a donation to continue supporting students like him in achieving their dreams.
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