Shakila Bibi, 27, and her husband, Saeed Ijaz Hussain, were evicted from their rented house in Samajabad, Multan for not being able to pay four months’ rent. “I am a labourer,” shared Ijaz, whose livelihood depends on a daily wage and on the seasonal demand for labour.
“We have looked for accommodation everywhere but there are no rooms available for less than Rs5,000 and we cannot afford this.” The couple is camped outside the National Press Club along with their children.
Claiming to have walked on foot from Multan to Islamabad in a bid to gain media and government attention, the couple hopes that they will be allotted a quarter in Multan through a letter of recommendation from a high-ranking government official in Islamabad.
The couple is unable to educate the children, three daughters and a son. A lack of education has left Saeed Ijaz with little employment opportunity.
“Rich people don’t understand what a son means to people like us,” explains Shakila as she cradles her eight-month-old son in her arms. “We have used contraception before but we had a deep desire to bear a son.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2013.
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