I read your story in the newspaper today. I did not know whether to cry with shame or to beam with pride. What forced a nine year old to drive a Qinqi rickshaw in Charsadda district– death threatening poverty or the overvaulting self-pride to save your family from begging and charity? Words fail me in praising your current determination but worries seize me in predicting your future happiness.
Sadly you belong to a society that would generally support a girl as long as she is dependent on the society. The moment however a girl, especially of the section of the society, to which you belong decides to become independent and hunt for employment opportunities beyond teaching, nursing and beautifying. She becomes the object of society’s contempt and disrespect. Her desire for a decent respectable independent life becomes an unforgivable crime.
A 9 year old girl struggle for survival has to be scorned upon. You are apparently being made a laughing stock. This must be hurtful. My heart bleeds for you. Hundreds of dangers you face. I wish I can protect you from this society. You are too young to be on the road. You are too young to be working for sustaining yourself and your family. You should be playing with dolls and dreaming of their weddings.
I can only pray that Allah guards you and gives you a bright future– I wish I could do something for you but other than wishing I cannot help you. I belong to the middle class that is too busy in sustaining itself.
You go to school. This is heartening. You dream of being a teacher one day. Wajeeha, my wish for you is that among the many glorious achievements of your life; you do become a world class teacher. Do teach your students to respect those whom life has given only two options – to be receivers of whimsical charity or to be creators of a resourceful life and they dare to choose the latter option!
Source: In the driving seat- http://www.jang.com.pk/thenews/jun2011-weekly/nos-12-06-2011/dia.htm#2