This is part of our annual, series, “14 Days, 14 Stories”, about ordinary Pakistanis who are doing extraordinary things.
Empathy is a hard trait in today’s world. In our fast paced lives and capitalist woes of gathering as much wealth as we can, one rarely feels empathetic toward the circumstances and experiences of other people. This is why when inspirational stories of people like Rohayl come up, they’re cherished by a wide cross-section of people.
In his journey towards developing empathy and helping people, Rohayl realized that there are scores of people who will easily find time and ability to criticize
Many armchair critics will list down all the negatives in our society but there will not be many who will actually be willing to do something about it themselves.
Rohayl Varind was only 14 when he he realized he cared for the people around him and instead of growing like up like most other young people his age, he pledged to rid the society of corruption, dishonesty injustice, inequality, crimes, and apathy. Growing up he was appalled by all that was wrong in the society and he knew that it was this feeling that would help in making a difference and this is why he held on to it.
This requires a lot of strength, consistency, and determination, and many people just do not want to take this sort of responsibility because criticism is easier than getting up and doing something about it.
One of the basic rights which many children of our country do not have access to is education. The problem is not just funds and the availability of schools but also that these little kids have to be a helping hand in the family and work alongside their parents to earn enough to help them through the day.
Child labor is a reality of Pakistan, which will not probably go away until holistic policies are made to eradicate capitalist greed and inequality in our society
One of the reasons why the population is on a surge is the thought that more kids will mean more income. So if these parents have a stable source of income, not only will this mean a reduction in the population growth but also in children going out to work.
Rohayl realized that many of these children would also like to read and learn because a child is intrigued and fascinating by the things around him/her and helping them learn might just make their days better
The problem, however, was that these kids worked during the day.
There was no way that child laborers would leave their source of income and study and later have no food in the house so Rohayl had to come up with another idea of how to help them
He started jotting down everything that came to his mind because the helping the kids of Faisalabad became his passion project. These kids would get free late in the evening. That meant no light and providing light in a space requires electricity, which again requires a lot of funds. They were not in a position to afford a project like this, but Rohayl was not ready to give up.
He came up with the idea of using solar energy to power his school. He then started working relentlessly to make his dream a reality. He gathered the funds not just for providing power to the school but also enough funds to provide the necessary books and stationery to the children.
The Slum School became functional last year with 45 children enrolled and attending classes every night.
The students were over the moon because of Rohayl’s efforts. In a society which has completely marginalized them, people like Rohayl serve to bridge the gap and develop the understanding that we all deserve the same rights.
For more stories from our series about extraordinary Pakistanis check out “14 Days, 14 Stories”.
cover image via commons.wikimedia.org