Candle of Light in Desert of Sindh


Muhammad Sharif Otho
Educating children today is ensuring civilized and properious society tomorrow.The above picture showcases children portraying art at a school situated not in a metropolitan but in a remote area of Daharki District Ghotki. A decade ago, talking about girls’ education was a taboo in this village.However, efforts of a single man have changed the fate and face of peanuts in this area. Now Alishba, a student of 4th class aspires to be first female doctor of this backward area and Mehran wants to rewrite the history by flying the airplanes in the future. Pakistan has always been home to philanthropists; from Abdul Sattar Edhi to Dr Adeeb Rizvi, so many individuals have put all possible efforts to make a difference in the land of pures. One Such philanthropist, Mr Abdul Hakeem Mahar, is lighting the candle of education in the desert of Sindh. He embarked upon a journey to illuminate the lives of people whom ignorance had kept secluded in darkness. He witnessed the degrading standards of life in his countryman, worse were the children . Foreseeing the same ignorance written on the wall for them if they would not be given quality education, he groundbreaked a welfare school in 2011 in village Adam Mahar with a mere classroom, a teacher and few students. Slowly and gradually, the light he initiated kept spreading and enlightening young buds.By 2013, there were hundreds of children in New Foundation school who got free and quality education. He bore all expenses; from construction of classrooms to books, from paying salaries to teachers to management and administration. He worked tooth and nail with the sole aim of educating people. Within a decade the numbers changed drastically ; the single classroom has changed into 61 rooms, one teacher to 45 teachers trained from one of the best Institutions of the country, from primary to higher secondary school, from few students to 2100 pupils. The school is no longer a traditional school but it has become an ideology of change, a story of inspirational students and home of dreams and desires. To illustrate an inspirational epitome, Mr Harish is a sheer example of change .He is a specially abled boy enrolled in the school in 2015 . Being the first member of his family to receive education, he feels blessed and content. Teachers were all bows and graces for his dedication towards his goal. Interested in science, his goal is to pursue higher education in the subject to serve the country and its people. Moreover, his untiring endeavors and resilience are to be mentioned since he has triumphed in securing merit scholarship for his high secondary studies in a well reputable college in Lahore. He was a fine bird whom the Institution gave fine feathers to fly in the sky of his aspirations. It strengthened him to fight against all odds. He has become a ray of hope for other children of his village. According to him, his milestone inspired many children of his village who have turned to education following him. He is not the only one, Khaliqdad is yet another example. To expound, he belongs to the village and had never been to any metropolitan. Possibly, he would have followed the same trail of farming and education would have remained alien to him. But, the teachers bestowed him with the dream to study beyond his city and then the competence to realize it . According to Khaliqdad, It was for the first time he went out of his native town to appear in a scholarship exam in Sukkur , a city only….KM from his Village. Eventually, the struggle paid off and he earned a scholarship in a renowned college at the Capital. He now aims at the sky as his limit. As per the numbers of school administration , 15 students have secured scholarships in prestigious colleges of the country within a matter of three years between 2018 to 2021. They are heralds of progress and prosperity for the region. In addition , girlseducation had gone almost extinct owing to scarcity of facilities , unavailability of female staff and financial predicaments of locals. Hence, People were reluctant to get their daughters in a school. Nevertheless, there has been a paradigm shift ; the school has successfully addressed the issue to possible extents and the administration is consistently striving to lift the quality of education. There are more than 300 girls enrolled currently.tHe Principal of the Institution is a Lady who is hope and source of motivation for girls. She commutes 90 Km in the desert to reach the Adam Mahar village fighting against all odds and challenges to ensure quality education.The possible impact can be gauged from the story of a student. She was the oldest in her class because her studies were delayed. She has to sit with classmates younger than her . But she is courageous, ambitious and hopeful , all this is a hallmark of education. Her mother drops and picks her daily and hopes to see her doctor in future. Additionally, The school leaves no stone unturned in facilitating the staff. There is a separate vehicle for female staff to commute so as not to hinder the progress in girls education.The students and their parents buy that if there had been no such school imparting quality education, their children might have been compelled to child labor or a bleak future would have been their destiny. The folks who were ravaged by social evils such as tribal feuds and starvation have turned to education to revolutionize their individual and collective life. As Nelson Mandela said , Education is the strongest weapon to change the world. To be precise , the kindness of a single person – who was later aided by individuals and organizations, has brought hope in the lives of thousands of students and their parents. Surely, This can only happen in Pakistan. They are the silver lining for future development and harmony in the region as well as the country as Mr Abdul Hakeem Mahar often says “Today, our students are our ambassadors and tomorrow, they will be asset of Pakistan”.