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June 26, 2019

Rawalpindi’s noiseless service providers


June 26, 2019

For nearly eight years, 45-year-old Farooq Haider has been rendering a noiseless service to Pindiites. At the crack of dawn, he buys fruits and vegetables from the main market of the inner city. On average, he carries 15 kilograms of goods daily and reaches his unsteady improvised stall by 6 a.m. in Fazal Town Phase-I.

“I keep to this schedule consistently, providing housewives and working women, while strolling in neighbouring localities, the opportunity to make quick, small and emergency purchases from my stall. I earn quite a reasonable amount of money daily to support my family of two daughters, a son and an aged mother,” says Farooq.

“Once when the road in the area was being cemented, the residents' welfare association finding me as an obstacle asked me to clear out the way. When my stall disappeared, the same association members who had asked me to leave wanted me back, because they missed the convenience of having my stall nearby. So I returned to my spot,” recounts Farooq.

Murtaza Malik and his wife Fatima, an artisan from Hyderabad excels in making embroidered garments for ladies. But they are too poor to afford a permanent shop, so, they move from area to area. Their convoy includes Murtaza himself, his wife Fatima Bibi and four children, a widowed sister-in-law and her three children.

“Along with the stock, we also move on,” Murtaza says. His wife says that only during festival seasons can they earn more than 5000 rupees a day. On other days, if even one piece between 1000 to 1200 rupees goes, we feel contented.

Feroze Hasan and brothers hail from Multan. Their wares including cane sofa set or garden chairs, dining table and chairs, lampshades, which are quite striking and traditional, occupy enough area in front of market shops.

“We need to select location very carefully. Or else we are harassed by the police or civic authorities for encroaching. We exhibit our goods at the main Murree Road near Shamsabad so that people while passing by stop over. Sun or rain, we need to display my goods to attract customers,” Feroze explains.

“Lucky days are far and few when we have sold items worth 5,000 rupees in a day. It also happens that no customer picks up anything for days,” adds Feroze.

Batool and Raza, husband and wife, almost of the same age, hawk their goods in Faisal Colony, Gulzar-e-Quaid, and Airport Housing Society. They exchange old clothes for utensils. Their parents did the same work, their sons and daughters are in the same line. They all live together in ‘jhuggis’ near Railway line. People like them are a great example against those who take to unfair means to find financial liberties.

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