Achieving a sustainable source of income
Faruq Hafeez* shares his story about how a microcredit grant received through ICMC Pakistan and the Sarhad Rural Support Programme changed his life and the well being of his family.
My name is Faruq Hafeez* and I am from Village Jageer, UC Karnol in District Mansehra. I have three daughters and one son. I used to work as a bus driver, take passengers from Lahore to Karachi. One day, a tragic accident left me helpless and changed my life. I lost my left arm in the accident and doctors suggested to amputate my left leg also.
I refused to let the doctors amputate my infected leg, which is why I have difficulty in walking today. After the accident, I had no source of income and my relatives refused to help support me and my family. I would sit all day on my charpai on the roadside and beg from people passing by. Sometimes people would give me ten or twenty rupees. Life was miserable as I was not able to feed my wife and children.
I had lost all hope of living when members of a community organization, Shama Welfare brought my case in front of Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) officials. The SRSP officials visited my house to verify my condition and I was selected for a microenterprise grant. I was invited to attend a 12 days microenterprise training before I was given a grant to set up a general store. Attending the training with other vulnerable people made me feel that I am not alone and that I am also a part of the society.
With the money received, I set up a general store in the front room of my house which opens on the main road. I keep the shop open from 6AM to 10PM and my average income is Rs.2000/- per day. My children have started going to school now. After her school, my daughter helps me in the shop. People who used to avoid me, now come to the shop to buy things. People who used to ignore me, have now started to talk to me. I am confident and feel part of the community now.
I would name my story, ‘Sustainable Source of Income’ as I am now able to provide my family with basic necessities in life and send my children to school.
* Name changed to protect the person's identity.