PESHAWAR: The city’s scorching heat becomes almost intolerable for labourers who work without any semblance of shade. With temperature rising up to 44 degrees Celsius on most days, the daily wagers are living proof that not all rays emitting from the sun are harmless.
However, students of various universities have tried to ease their misery by installing a refrigerator on Peshawar’s bustling thoroughfare, University Road.
Inspired by Karachi’s Alamgir ‘Fixit’ campaign, students decided to fill the fridge with cold beverages and fresh fruits for the daily wage earners. These labourers not only work during the harsh summers, but can barely afford a cool drink to beat the heat.
Set on the premises of a CNG station opposite the Islamia College, Peshawar building, a refrigerator filled with fruits and fresh juices provides welcome relief to these workers. Talking to The Express Tribune, Hasher Mehsood who heads the team, says, “We have installed it on humanitarian grounds to provide relief to the needy in this hot weather.” He adds it is aimed at facilitating labourers who work without fans or air conditioners.
Mehsood tells The Express Tribune the fridge has been purchased through donations and his team plans on installing more of them at busy thoroughfares where labourers wait for customers.
“The fridge cost Rs35,000 for which three people have donated,” he says. He adds the team regularly visits better off people in the city to collect charity to ensure the fridge remains stocked each day.
As if to counter nature’s lack of benevolence, even the owner of the CNG station, where the fridge is installed, promises to provide a power line for it. “He also agrees to ensure the station’s security guards keep an eye on the fridge,” Mehsood adds.
The student requests that the public and affluent families donate to the cause.
Open for all
After installing the Wall of Kindness and Happiness Box, students from various varsities across the city took to installing a well-stocked fridge for labourers.
Labourers are delighted with the initiative. Many gathered at the inauguration ceremony on Sunday and lauded the move.
Khan Mohammad, 35, clad in cement-stained overalls, says he mostly waits for his bus near the CNG station each day. “Sometimes, I wish I could purchase a soft drink as the heat gets unbearable,” he adds.
The worker says he has to be mindful of the Rs400-500 he makes each day and has to be careful about where and how he spends his money. “The amount I make is so little that I cannot afford to spend money on drinks,” Khan says, adding now he can quench his thirst thanks to this initiative.
Mohammad Rafiq, a social activist based in Peshawar, believes such projects portrayed the goodness of society and peoples’ willingness and potential to help those who are less fortunate.
He says apart from providing relief to the public, the government should make sure labour laws are implemented in the province. “No one should be allowed to violate the rights of labourers in the city,” he concludes.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2016.