Self-immolation: Boy who couldn’t buy uniform kills self

Published: April 1, 2012

Kamran’s brother says the family could not bear treatment expenses. PHOTO: FILE

SHABQADAR: 

A 12-year-old boy committed suicide by self-immolation in despair over not being able to afford a new school uniform.

Kamran set himself on fire on March 25, 2012, and died of severe burns on Friday in Subhan Khwarh village, Charsadda district.

A student of Class-VII, he had asked his mother to buy him a school uniform when he came back from school last Saturday. He only had two pairs of clothes, both of which were already worn out.

“My son demanded money for a new uniform, which I failed to provide,” his overwhelmed mother Shandana Bibi told The Express Tribune, adding that her son lit himself on fire when she denied him the request.

“I refused to buy a new uniform because I didn’t have the money to even buy food; where I would buy a new uniform from?” she asked.

She said her son got petrol from a nearby petrol pump and torched himself. “We rushed him to the hospital where he was admitted for five days in a critical condition before he died.”

Kamran’s elder brother Saleem told The Express Tribune that their father had borrowed money from friends and relatives and went abroad in hopes of finding a job to lift them out of poverty. However, he is still unemployed since the last three months.

“We are homeless, that’s why we are living in our aunt’s home now,” Saleem said, while holding the “whole system” responsible for his brother’s death.

“Doctors demanded Rs500,000 for Kamran’s treatment and we didn’t have it,” he said. “We don’t even have money for food.”

Zakir Khan, the principal of Kamran’s school in Pir Qilla, told The Express Tribune that Kamran was one of his best students and that he held second position in the whole school.

“Due to poverty, Kamran was unable to continue his studies, so he left the school and started collecting scraps with his uncle but I readmitted him without demanding any tuition fee because he was an asset for the future of this country,” he said.

Khan was also critical of the doctors for demanding Rs500,000 for Kamran’s treatment.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2012.

Reader Comments (14)

  • BLing BLing
    Apr 1, 2012 - 10:22AM

    This is really saddening, heartbreaking. The real issues of our country hardly get any attention from the government and the media. People ignore the fact that Pakistan still cannot provide basic necessities to its people after some 60+ years and it does not seem to get any better either. What hope for the future do we have, if we look at the situation realistically?

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  • Falcon
    Apr 1, 2012 - 10:22AM

    Such a sad story. May Kamran’s soul rest in peace. Between the fads for newest iphone and LV bags, people forget that there is a big chunk of humanity out there who doesn’t have enough resources to even pursue a simple dream of basic amenities.

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  • Apr 1, 2012 - 10:55AM

    International surveys think Pakistanis are the 4th most intelligent nation on earth. But our system & rulers since last 65 years have brought this nation to the verge of a total collapse; social, moral, economic, security and cultural.
    Our Kamrans have to immolate themselves only because their parents can’t buy them a uniform? Not a designer one off course; a simple 3 metre cloth uniform.
    Will our Bilawals, Maryam Nawazs, Moonis Elahis and Sangeen Walis ask their HOUNOURABLE parents what they have done to this nation of 180 million? and will their parents consider this nation’s 50 million Kamrans their children?

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  • usman
    Apr 1, 2012 - 10:58AM

    Getting so emotional about it, a kid from my village sets himself on fire. Terribly woeful.

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  • CK
    Apr 1, 2012 - 11:46AM

    Shame on Pakistan and its system.

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  • Apr 1, 2012 - 12:23PM

    Oh my God what have we done to this country? What kind of a sick, barbaric, sadistic country am I living in? What kind of a nightmare have we forced upon ourselves? What have we done to this country? What?

    Recommend

  • Apr 1, 2012 - 1:01PM

    International surveys reveal that Pakistanis are the 4th most intelligent nation on earth. But our system & rulers since last 65 years have brought this nation to the verge of a total collapse; social, moral, economic, security and cultural.
    Our Kamrans have to immolate themselves only because their parents can’t buy them a uniform? Not a designer one off course; a simple 3 metre cloth uniform.
    Will our Bilawals, Maryam Nawazs, Moonis Elahis and Sangeen Walis ask their HOUNOURABLE parents what they have done to this nation of 180 million?
    And will these Top-10 parents consider this nation’s 50 million Kamrans as their children?

    Recommend

  • INFIDEL
    Apr 1, 2012 - 2:04PM

    Where did he get the money to buy the PETROL???????

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  • shoaib
    Apr 1, 2012 - 4:47PM

    @INFIDEL:
    im sure he got it on loan:s

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  • Atif
    Apr 2, 2012 - 5:50AM

    May the PTI and others spearhead the revolution.

    These slaves of Amrika have brought injustice to our country

    this dirty army and dirty government are the biggest enemies of the peopleRecommend

  • Atif
    Apr 2, 2012 - 5:53AM

    This dirty army and this dirty corrupt government are the enemies of the people

    The start of a revolution is near. PTI has made the correct guess

    Dirty army, dirty government !!!!! enemies of the people

    Recommend

  • zehra
    Apr 2, 2012 - 4:43PM

    while i feel sad, i feel more sad for his family, i find the move by the boy really very selfish, he forgot the kind principle who admitted him without fee??? when he was just going around in streets he got the opportunity from ALLAH, through the princpal!
    he was living in a home (even if with aunt) his poor mother was a maid and yet she was trying to educate him and he had the gall to threaten his poor mom? i am sorry but 13 is a good enough age to know your limits and understand your own family situation. he gave his greatest gift – life for a measly unifrm??
    this is dangerous, we have forgotten the virtue of paitence and self respect, we are not able to be satisfied with non materialistic things, yes he system is unfair but a 13 yr boy should understand his familys situation.

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  • Jalal ahmad
    Apr 21, 2012 - 11:08PM

    i really shoked to know that a boy of class 8th set hmself on fire the main reason of this type of events is our CURPT goverment

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  • Nadia
    May 30, 2012 - 1:13PM

    @zehra:
    Do you realize the pain of poverty? I think not

    Recommend

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