A woman put up her two daughters and son for sale on Friday afternoon in Vehari.
Several people gathered to see Vehari Chowk resident Ghazala standing near the main road with her three children on Friday. One of the children was bearing the sign “children for sale for any price”. Ghazala told reporters that she was desperate and that her husband Asad Haroon was a drug addict and she could no longer provide for her family. “My husband has been a heroin addict for years and we don’t see him for weeks on end,” she said. “I recently took up a job working as a sweeper at several houses in my community but I still couldn’t make ends meet,” she added. Ghazala said that her three children were starving and she could no longer see them suffer. “I have spent months trying to keep them clothed and fed but we are desperate and it is hard to even afford a square meal a day for my family,” she said. Ghazala told reporters that she had even contemplated suicide but she didn’t have the courage to leave her children all alone.
“I am selling them in the hope that someone will treat them well and that they might have a future away from this place,” she said.
Ghazala’s three children are all below the age of ten. Abdullah, 7, Mahnoor,9, and Masooma, 4, all stood by the road for over seven hours on Friday morning with their mother. Ghazala said that she hoped her children would be able to find employment with someone in the vicinity or that they would be able to assist her but this did not work. “I tried to convince people to hire them to work as well so that we could each bring something home but very few people are willing to hire such young workers,” she said.
Locals in the area alerted a police official about the spectacle and police officials eventually removed Ghazala and her children from the scene. “We see this on a weekly basis. Someone or other selling their children on the roadside. It is a publicity stunt and nothing else,” said officer Rahbar Shams.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2011.
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