By Muhammad Atif Ismail
MULTAN, Apr 12 (APP):The joys of over 3,000 parents of school-going kids were out of description when they received unexpected messages of complete monthly fee waiver of their kids, from administration of Rashid Minhas Higher Secondary School, situated at Alipur, a tehsil in district Muzaffargarh.
About 5000 kids are studying in the school and the administration waived off all dues owing to pandemic coronavirus, which led to lockdown and compelled people to stay homes. The lockdown situation also affected monthly budget of the masses.
Talking to APP, Principal Rashid Minhas Higher Secondary School Engineer Saad said that they waived of all dues of the kids, whether the kids of their hostel or day-scholars. Many families have two or three kids, who are studying in the school.
He remarked that they paid complete salaries to the school staffers. The school had 400 staffers, both in teaching and non-teaching category. He stated that he could not get fee from kids parents as the whole nation was staying in homes due to pandemic of coronavirus.
“We are struggling to save our lives from coronavirus so I cannot even think to collect fees from the parents of the kids”, he said and maintained, “the kids and their parents are worried due to the circumstances, triggered from pandemic”.
Mr Abdul Ghafoor, the owner of the school and father of Principal Engineer Saad said, “I paid Rs 5.2 million salary to staffers of the school from my personal account”.
Students namely Ahmed (Ist-year) and Muhammad (2nd year), two real brothers, also spoke and thanked the administration of the schools for taking such kind step. The step received immense appreciation from across the whole local area. They stated that they used to stay in the school’s hostel and their per month dues were over Rs 30,000.
Father of another student Hamza Sattar namely Khalid Javed also expressed gratitude to the administration. He lauded the humanitarian step of the school authorities. He observed that he could not express the praiseworthy gesture of the administration of the school in words. He also wished that the owners of other schools should follow such beautiful example and waived off fees of the kids.
This is not only a single example of cooperation among people in the culturally rich region of south Punjab but the same sort of passion existed throughout the region. Thousands of the people whether they are rich or middle class families, are serving the poor with their existing financial capacity in both, urban or rural areas of South Punjab.
Malik Rashid, a karyana merchant, near MDA Chowk, used to deliver ration to over 70 families on daily basis. He said that he along with his friends hailing from the middle class families, used to serve the poor people on daily basis. “We also follow special guideline of physical distancing and other precautionary measures, during distribution of the ration, he stated. Interestingly, these all friends belonged to same street.
Similarly, the same spirit of service is also prevalent in almost every remote village of the region. People from all walks of life including traders, progressive farmers, faith-healers, teachers and many others are performing their important role especially in provision of items of daily use to the poor, residing in their respective localities.
Pir Abdur Razaq, a custodian of Darbar Shakooria Pipli adda, in tehsil Vehari said that they distributed over 300 ration bags but they did not take any photograph. He informed that they delivered ration among all poor families of the village.
Many philanthropists used to visit city busiest chowks and other areas of city including MDA Chowk, Gulgasht, Mumtazabad, Chowk Kumharan, Vehari chowk, and offer cash to labourers on daily basis.
Similarly, some loader vehicles make regular visits on daily and distribute cooked food especially rice among the poor. NGOs are also seen creating awareness and providing hand-sanitizers, soap, face-masks among the people.
According to official sources, about 26 registered NGOs are actively engaged in welfare work amid pandemic in Multan division. Activists of political, religious parties and civil society are observed serving the poor people throughout the region.
It seemed that the whole nation was united against coronavirus issue and everyone was trying to extend help towards the needy families, stated local activist Jameel Ahmed Jameel. It is also noticed that citizens gave salaries to their house maids and allowed them to stay in their own homes till end of the pandemic.