KARACHI: For Aziza Din Muhammad Brohi, getting further education would likely to come to an end by next year when she would celebrate her tenth birthday. The reason is the answer that non-existence of the middle or high school in the proximity of her small remote village-Noor Muhammad.
Aziza, a student of class five, lives and studies in her remote village, located at Kemari Karachi away from the metropolis about a distance of 35 kilometers. The village is Karachi’s largest garbage dumping ground. For dwellers, the basic income comes from sorting out metal and glassware and recyclable items from the heaps of garbage at every nock and corner of the surroundings of the village, emphatically comes from Karachi through dumpers.
The village lacks basic governmental facilities of sanitation, drinking water, health as well as education. The nearest health and education facility close to the village is Hub Choki, Balochistan approximately five kilometers away from the village. Lack of transportation makes the facilities more difficult to access.
“I want to be a teacher. But it looks this is never going to be happened as I cannot study further since my village does not have any middle standard school,” said Aziza with hapless eyes.
Aziza is not the only among more than 450 children out of village’s total population of 1,050 people who face same fate as area does not have middle or high school. Like Aziza, her younger sister Asma, who studies in class four, would too not continue after passing her primary education although both sisters wanted to continue their studies.
“For further schooling we would have to move to Hub Chowki and that our parents cannot afford,” said Aziza.
Most of the children start picking garbage at an early age. They support their parents who earn little through garbage picking. However construction of a high standard school in the area would change the scenario when early in the morning children carrying books would be seen going to school rather to picking the plastic bags from nearby dumping ground with heavy smoke and filthy atmosphere.
Parbhat Community Primary School, where Aziza studies enrolled 120 children, is virtue of a local non-governmental organisation. In year 2010 Health And Nutrition Development Society (HANDS) started schooling in the area with the initiative through its intervention.
According to school administration, initial response from garbage-picker parents was very encouraging as books along with stationery were provided free of cost to students.
“At first we were quite surprised by the encouraging mood of area parents who started sending their children to school since books, bags and stationery was also provided free. We could hardly find any place left in four-room school building to make seating arrangement for children,” said Tahira Nawaz Soomro, a school teacher.
Currently there are five female students studying in class five while nearly fifty percent children are away from school.
“Recently first batch of students nearly ten passed out from the school. Only two or three, all male, would to continue their studies in nearby schools. However all girls have stayed at home seeing no option. This is tragic,” said Tahira.