In a male-dominated society and profession, females find survival a hard task, while many give up, there are young and determined women like Alisha Jameel who are a ray of hope.
Belonging from Karachi’s Drigh Road locality, Alisha is the youngest daughter of late rickshaw driver Abdul Jameel. Her father’s untimely demise created tension in the household.
With no males in the household, it was up to his daughters to find a way out of unemployment with the rising inflation. That’s when Alisha decided that she will make her father proud while breaking the shackles the male-dominated society has put around her ankles.
While talking to a local publication, Alisha shared, “When my father was ill, he taught me how to drive his rickshaw,” Alisha said. “He wanted me to fulfil his dream of becoming a breadwinner in the family like a son would… he wanted me to play this role to improve the financial situation of my family.”
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Since then, the young lady has taken all financial responsibilities of her mother and unmarried sibling for almost a year now, however, in order to do so, Alisha has to bid farewell to her own dreams and studies. She could not study past grade 8 and had to look for work in factories with minimum wage.
However, as their financial situation hardened, she decided that she had to find another way around, and that’s when she took the keys, turned the engine on, and drove towards a new destiny. The couplet on her father’s rickshaw reflects her heart’s sentiments. It reads, “When the burden (of responsibilities) becomes unbearable to shoulder, I miss my Baba dearly.”
Despite the fact that she does face criticism, she motivates herself by remembering her mother and sister and their support.”I have the backing of my mother so I didn’t give up and I don’t care about anyone else.” She continues, “for my own protection, I try to offer rides to mostly families or women.”
“A large chunk of my money goes into buying petrol which is very expensive nowadays… I don’t earn as much as compared to the hard work I put in,” she added. Her mother, Salma shared that her daughter was always like a son to her father and her and that even though she has concerns for her daughter’s safety, she is proud of her too.
“When she brought the money for the first time, my heart got immersed in pride,” she added. We salute Alisha and her mother for their incredible courage. Girls like Alisha are a symbol of hope for many during the hardships of inflation while mothers like Salima are their rocks and support system.
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