While most of us get lost in the excitement of Eid, there are some who are not as fortunate. For some, duty calls and they are not lucky enough to spend time with their families and friends on Eid. The Express Tribune spoke to some of these people.
Fire fighter Malik Siddique Zahid said he would work this Eid. “We work in three shifts and this will also be the case on Eid.” He said although it was difficult to go to work on Eid, duty reigned supreme.
Arshad Masih, a sanitary worker, said he had to work early morning on Eid. “People want clean streets on Eid. I get up at the crack of dawn and get my job done before people return from Eid prayers.”
He said that it was tough to work while people were all dressed up and enjoying themselves but he did not dislike it. “I get Eidi which I appreciate,” he added.
Tandoorwala Muhammad Aslam admitted that working on Eid was difficult but it was one of the best days in terms of sales. “This is the age of competition and people work seven days a week, so no I don’t mind working on Eid. I can’t just stay at home when I can earn almost four times more than normal days,” he said.
This is the first Eid that Dr Mumtaz will be on duty. The doctor said he was a local and felt quite sorry for himself when he saw medics from other cities head home while he had to report for duty at the Emergency Ward. The only consolation, he said, was that he would be of some help to those who needed attention on Eid.
Police officer Nawaz Ali said the police deployment schedule had been issued prior to Eid. He said he tries to be polite with people on Eid and also instructs junior officers to be courteous.
Shehzad Sarfaraz, a journalist, said this was his fourth working Eid and added that an Eid work day meant shorter hours and compensation.
“Working a few hours on Eid means I can be compensated with two holidays.”
Hasnain Ahmad, who works at a call centre, said that although he had to work on Eid, the work day started at 9 pm. This, he said, meant that he could not enjoy Chaand Raat with his family and friends. “But I get to spend all of Eid with my family before taking off for work in the evening. “
Tayyab, who works at a petrol pump at Muslim Town Mor, said that he had to work a full 12-hour day on Eid. “It is difficult but I cannot take Eid off.” He said he couldn’t refuse to work as he could then lose his job.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2011.