Author: Saeed Ahmad Sandhu
Lahore is a world famous city and capital of the Punjab province in Pakistan. It has a lot of historical cultural heritage related to the Mughal, the Sikh and the English emperors. Especially Shahi Qila (Lahore Fort) the Badshahi mosque and the Jahangir tomb are some of the highlights of cultural heritage of the Mughal dynasty. The city was surrounded by wall having twelve gates. The remnants of the walled city still survive today.
As the population mushroomed and people from nearby villages inhabited here and the city became second largest and a mega city of Pakistan
In Mohalla Ghaziabad which is situated in eastern side of city Lahore, a boy named Rizwan Qamar passed his matriculation exam in year 2000. He was the only son of his parents having three younger sisters Amina, Fatima and Aifa. His father M. Anwar worked as a helper in a small private firm having a meagre salary. While Rizwan’s mother Bilqees Bibi supported his husband by stitching clothes of the neighborhood.
In year 2002 Rizwan passed his intermediate Exam as a private candidate as he could not go to college regularly. He has to fund money to serve his family because the earning of his father was insufficient. He started working in a private firm of hosiery which was near to his house.
In 2006 Rizwan joined the Punjab police as a constable. His father and his all family was very glad on his new job in the government department. There he continued his studies as a private candidate and passed his graduation with good marks. In the beginning of job, he was a little disturbed with the duty hours and routine of schedule of timing which was almost 24 hours a day without a respite. But after spending some time he became used to the duty hours. His salary was not quite enough to meet the ever growing inflation in urban area. But he was satisfied as he was always ready to serve the people of his country.
Now the whole burden of his family was upon his shoulders as his father was unable to do job any more. Now Muhammad Anwar did not go anywhere for earning but only said his prayer, as his son Rizwan was serving in the public sector department. He was very proud of him. The family was living happily. Then the tide turned.
In 2007 Rizwan was on duty at Mayo Hospital of Lahore. His duty was with a prisoner which was patient of some stomach disease. There were five police personals deputed on this very sensitive duty. There was two shift duty. Two constables were on duty and two were reserved in the camp.
Rizwan was well aware of these critical hours of the official duty. He has done his 12 hours duty which was from 8 AM to 8PM. Night duty was of Mubasher and Ahmad. When Rizwan was coming to duty next day from his camp, two nurses met him on his way. They asked him, “Where is your prisoner.” He replied, “On his bed.” the nurses replied, “there was no prisoner on the bed.”
Rizwan was stunned and shocked to hear the words. He ran fast towards the bed number 29 of Medical Ward of Mayo Hospital. He was more shocked to see that the both guards were intoxicated and sleeping. He searched in hurry here and there in nearby rooms and bathrooms and also went to canteen area but prisoner Asgher was not present anywhere. Soon Rizwan informed his higher authorities. All of his team along with the SHO and the Superintendent of police used there sources to pull back Asgher. After nine days efforts, Asgher was arrested from Multan where he had hidden himself and was living with his relatives. SHO Tariq Khan played a vital role in this regard.
Rizwan and his team was suspended from their job and was inquired and were dismissed from service. Rizwan was utterly sad on the decision of the department. Now it was not easy for Rizwan to fulfill the needs of his family as there were his three sisters and parents who were about sixty years old. He was only person who has to meet all expenses of the family.
His one sister was studying in a college and two were studying in a school. To fulfil their education, eating and clothing expenses wasn’t easy for a jobless person as there were also bills of electricity and gas. He was not able to face glaring eyes of his family members. All were looking towards Rizwan to do something to meet the price rises which was order of the day.
He was engaged with Ayesha and after two months there was wedding ceremony of Rizwan but now it was not easy for his family to bear the expenses of the marriage. Ultimately, Rizwan’s wedding was also delayed for next time. His father in-law Akbar was eager to marry his daughter as soon as possible but could not see this happen. Sadly he died of a sudden cardiac failure.
Every passing day was very life-threatening for the family as they were hopefully waiting for the restoration of Rizwan’s job. He could not do work as a mason helper. So he started working in a factory as a helper. But one thing was striking in his mind that once he was a police constable and now he was a helper in a factory with a little salary of 7000/-Rupees per month. Family was living hand to mouth.
In 2012 the govt. raised the minimum salary of worker to 10000/- he was a little happy but was also struggling for his job in the Punjab police department. After two years and one month, on 5th May 2012 his job was reinstated but couldn’t get salary of the two lost years. He was half-heartedly happy.
Presently he is doing his duty in Lahore but when he thinks about his two years, his eyes become wet with tears that he was doing his duty with devotion but the negligence of others was imposed upon him. These two years for his family were also very hardest to survive.
Intro: Mr Saeed Ahmad Sandhu has done masters in English. He has a taste for literature and is a sound reader of fiction.He will contribute regularly as a writer.