TEACHER – Fatima – The responsibility of the eldest daughter
I was brought up in poverty and life was hard in our remote mountain village. I witnessed people living in poor condition and dying because of lack of basic facilities. Due to lack of proper infrastructure attending school was not easy for me. However, my late father – a man with dynamic and inspirational personality, always encouraged and supported me in pursuing my education. Though he was an illiterate person himself, working as high-altitude porter who only had opportunity to make money in summers, he did everything for me and my siblings. Sadly, he left us so early.
Despite life’s hardships and ﬁnancial diﬃculties, I was optimistic about my education and availed every opportunity to achieve my goal. I pursued my primary education at a government school. After 5th grade, I continued education at home and appeared for matriculation examination as external student and passed it with distinction. I was the only girl from Miraliwa Public School who received matriculation certiﬁcate.
After matriculation, I took an entry test for teaching in Miraliwa Public School, which I cleared and got inducted as a teacher with the salary of 4500 rupees per month. It was the greatest achievement of my life. The job was harder than I expected, but it was not impossible, all it needed was dedication and commitment. Although it was not an easy, I never gave up. Being the eldest in my family I was responsible for eight family members. I had to support them after the death of my beloved father.
When the school was adopted under project Gaamzan, my salary was increased from 4500 to 10,000 rupees per. This increase was a blessing for me and my family as being an eldest daughter, I had to play the role of both brother and father at the same time.
In the previous salary, it was getting diﬃcult for me to support my brother studies. However, now I was able to do that. Eventually this hard work paid off and my brother joined Pakistan Army. His dream came true and all thanks go to this intervention, which helped me and brother successfully take the ﬁrst stepping stone to get out of hardships. I am optimistic that, just like me, other teachers, students and their families will beneﬁt from the project in years ahead.
I was born and grew up in hardship, but remained resilient and eventually reached my aim. I think I have set an example for the women in my community, showing them that if you are determined and focused you can achieve your goal.