Her Turn: It’s time to make your right to education a priority
Wars have terrible beginnings and endings. It doesn’t provide a solution to the problems but definitely becomes the cause of many more (problems) to come. It might be in favor of a few but it gets a lot worse for the most. According to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on average 25 people were forced to flee their homes every minute in 2018 as global displacement tops 70 million. This is not just a number – these are human beings. Like many other Afghan Refugees, Bakht Mina along with her parents, 5 sisters and 3 brothers moved to Pakistan for a better and secure life. Her father who was a laborer and like many others, didn’t have education on his list of priorities. The fire of the empty and hungry stomachs of his 9 kids, his wife and his own has taken the leap into the priority list. But this won’t stop the dreamy-eyed and the fiery spirit, Bakht Mina. Bakht Mina had two elder sisters and like many other girls in her family, they were married off at a very young age.
Little Mina was an extremely curious and bright child since the very beginning. Her love for learning forced her mother to bring her to the doorsteps of their community school, DIL (Development in Literacy) at Qureshiabad. She was enrolled in Nursery. Soon the teachers and the principal could see the spark in her. Miss Iffat, the principal for DIL – Qureshiabad remembering Bakht Mina says, she was extremely intelligent and a bright student. She used to actively participate in all co-curricular activities. Mina completed her primary education but couldn’t study further though her principal and mother tried their best to convince her father to let her study further. He was strictly against girls’ education. All he wanted her was to get married like her elder sisters. He didn’t have resources to pay for her tuition fee and then, later on, invest in marriage as well. Therefore, marrying her off seems a lot suitable option than investing in her education. But Bakht Mina and her mother had fought for her dreams and her right to education. They asked the school administration for their help. Impressed by Mina’s determination and her eagerness to get an education, Ms. Iffat waived off her fee so she can get an education free of cost, which was primarily one of the main concerns of her father.
Bakht Mina recently passed her matriculation exam with high grades. In order, to let her continue with her journey of fulfilling her dreams Ms. Iffat has asked her school association to provide a scholarship to her. Now, Bakht Mina is enrolled in the first year in a nearby school with the help of Ms. Iffat and her mother. Convinced by her determination and hard work, Ms. Iffat has also processed her scholarship case to DIL head office. Bhakt Mina’s hard work and persistence didn’t only change her life but also changed her younger siblings’ lives. Now her three younger sisters are also studying at DIL – Qureshiabad. The strong fight put by Mina and her mother has now changed and won Mina’s father’s heart. He along with her mother are now supporting and encouraging their daughters for the pursuit of better and quality education.
*Image credits: www.change.org