‘You are our only hope. You must not fail us.’ The words of his parents, after his diabetic father’s first heart attack , rang in his ears over a decade later as he faced the inevitable doom – his nemesis – complete darkness.
Being punished once by being locked in a dark room by his ustad in a local madrassah, the fear of darkness paralyzed him ever since. Even as a child Liaquat remembered never wanting to be left alone in a dark room. Night was the only time he was grateful for being poor and being able to sleep in the same room as everyone else of his family.
The eldest of his 6 siblings, Liaquat was made to understand and take up responsibility for his household early on in his life. He started working as a daily wage laborer in his neighborhood in his late teenage years. The only earner of his family, Liaquat could not earn more than Rs.6000/- a month although the money could only feed so many mouths only once a day, his family loved his tireless efforts and willingness to share.
A few years ago, Liaquat found a daily wage job at a leather factory near his home. The work was more predictable and gave him a slight jump in earnings. Wanting to marry and have a family of his own, Liaquat was more than happy to accept the offer.
2 children later, Liaquat still supports the entire family of 12 – his parents – now aged and weak, his wife and children, 2 sisters and 4 brothers – all of whom are still too young and depend on him for livelihood.
A few months ago, Liaquat had an accident at work; while handling chemicals, some of the acidic liquid spilled and splashed into his eye. He was rushed to a neighborhood doctor who prescribed medicines and promised that all will be well. However, a few weeks later, Liaquat was still unable to see clearly. In fact, he started feeling his vision deteriorate further as days passed by. Visits to the same doctor resulted in no improvement – while the doctor continued to maintain his stance that everything was alright.
Scared and not willing to let the other family members know of his grief, Liaquat pretended to take leave from work; where in fact, he could continue any longer due to his weakened eye sight.
Fearful of his future as well as that of his family, he would spend days in the neighborhood, pretending to look for work, while all the time looking and praying for help.
Help came in the most strangest of ways; sitting outside a store near his home, he was complaining of his troubles to the shopkeeper, when one of his customers overheard and joined in the conversation.
He informed Liaquat of LRBT – the free eye care provider for the poor and needy of the country. He spoke highly of the quality of service provided and the top of the line facilities available there. So much so, that Liaquat came to LRBT Korangi the very next day with his brother.
After a thorough examination, he was diagnosed with cataract in his eye. Surgery was performed completely free of cost and by some of the most renowned doctors in the country! With his vision restored, Liaquat has now resumed work – with complete faith in God and humanity.
‘For the first time in my life I felt that I am not alone; someone out there helped me – without reason or payback expectation. I hope that God pays them back on my behalf.’
Liaquat is back at work and has recently been given the hope of a raise.
‘I want to make all my dreams come true. I don’t want to hold back any longer. My children will study and someday own a motorcycle and maybe a house too. No limits!’
Liaquat smiles as he shares his excitement over being given a new life. LRBT helped give him that – a new life with an inspired vision!