A wave of literacy for Lyari’s street children

BY SAIF ALI 

In a country where girls are subjected to countless hurdles to secure their basic rights, it is a moment of pride when a young girl makes a name and an impact in the society.

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Meheen Baloch from Lyari, Karachi, has proven herself successful in disseminating knowledge using her skills and education. After graduating in Social Sciences, she wants to educate children who can not afford expensive school fee. Being daughter of an activist and author, Abdul Wahid Baloch, she is determined to keep extremism at bay by educating children.

“My struggle began when I was studying in matriculation, I observed children being muddy, wasting time and killing their future,” she told.

One day she found a way to talk to them. It turned out that either their guardians are not serious to take them to schools or they have some financial problem. She recalled that numerous people in her town are deprived of basic education and ethics, which led to violent extremism in society. She talked to her father and they had a healthy discussion poverty, extremism, illiteracy and their impact on society.

She decided to make her share to address these issues. Meheen started teaching with four students; now a large number of students benefit from her effort.

“The teaching with love and sincerity boosts the numbers of children of different age groups” she added.

She believes teaching is like worship. If a teacher teaches without charging fee, it comes under good needs.

Moreover, she buys the stationery for the Lyari’s learners. It’s not easy to perform both duties; studying herself and teaching. However, her passion has made it possible.

She explained that nothing is more respectable than educating innocent children. “I love teaching the children we cannot live our life unless we are satisfied with our work and abilities with the vision to promote peace and harmony in the society,” she remarked.

She hopes her wish will come true.

Awareness, decision making and positive thoughts to overcome problems related to poverty  taught to these children from a skilled instructor, which makes them capable of taking decisions to be successful in their lives, she said.

“My beliefs and observations made me realize that I should be delivering knowledge, skills, and making sure that no child faces what I faced”, she added.

She believes that education is desperately needed in slums so that children can be given a better future and they can understand the concepts of harmony and social inclusion.

She is not only a teacher and trainer but also a theatre artist. “I always consider that by doing theatre based on knowledge, history, science, ethics, and religion we can bring change in our society and bring people and communities together”, she said.

She ventured into theater when she was in college. With a belief that theater is one of the best tools to tackle extremism, violence, and ignorance, she formed her theatre group, “Rock the Band”.

Her first play in the English language was “New Day Will Come”. She won the first prize at the Karachi Youth Festival. Later she performed several plays in Urdu and Balochi languages.

In the beginning, people in the vicinity created hurdles through coarse to back off.  But such challenges boosted me up to do social work to bring positive change in the society.  Adding gradually, number of students have increased and now challenges have decreased.

There is a great connection between Maheen and her students; she hopes soon the children will get their education and awareness and spread the message of peace to all who need it.

Enthusiasm of a girl made her triumphant. Her efforts to transform the world by educating the poor innocent students and making them more tolerant and inclusive are a ray of hope for many in the locality.

Had she not taken the initiative, many children would have been wasting their time and their lives useless activities. When they would have grow up, they would have involved in drugs, robbery, theft, and smuggling which is common in the area.

As a teacher of street children, Maheen is optimistic to make a difference and provide them a vision.

Read more: Government working to ensure safety of Pakistanis stranded in Ukraine: Pak envoy

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