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Widow vendor: My dream is durable peace

Widow vendor: My dream is durable peace

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7 Feb 2022 - 14:16
Widow vendor: My dream is durable peace
author avatar
7 Feb 2022 - 14:16

KABUL (Pajhwok): Carrying a variety of vegetables on a handcart, a widow wants the Taliban government to ensure the security and well-being of the people.

Bibi Gul, 50, lost her husband 10 years ago and had only one son, who sold vegetables on a handcart on Kabul streets to earn a livelihood for the family.

While narrating bitter memories of her life, Gul’s eyes welled up: “My son, the only hope for our family, was martyred in a suicide attack left. He left us alone forever.”

Eight years back, when she lost her only son as well, the widow was left with no option but to work for the survival of her family members.

Her grey hair and tired figure explain the suffering and sorrow she has been going through over the past one decade.

Although she does not want to recall the bitter memories of life, the widow has a heavy responsibility on her shoulders: Supporting her family.

She lives in the Waselabad locality of Kabul with her mother, father-in-law and five daughters in a rented house. She daily purchases vegetable and sells them on the streets.

She earns around 700 afs daily and spends this amount on meeting day-to-day needs of her family and pays 5,000 afs in monthly rent for her one-room house.

Carrying a handcart with tens of kilograms of onions, potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflowers and other vegetables is not an easy task for a 50-year-old woman.

But Gul said: “I have promised myself to work as long as I am alive.”

She said her elder daughter was a student of the journalism faculty at the Kabul University. Her four other daughters are also enrolled in school.

Gul viewed fighting and insecurity as the main reason behind the current situation faced by Afghanistan. Her only wish is a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.

The widow, believing in her hard work, desires a bright future for her daughters. She never expects anyone will reach out to them and alleviate their plight.

“The government should work hard for restoring peace and stability and providing relief to the masses. It should ensure economic stability and price control because people have suffered a lot and can’t afford more pain and sorrows.”

She reiterated: “I work so that my children could study. I am facing all these problems for the bright future of my children. This is not easy. May Allah help me.”

Gul is not the only Afghan woman committed to working for the sake of her family. There are hundreds of other women who work to support their families.

Some women, unable to do hard labour, have resorted to begging to eke out a living.

Millions of Afghans have been forced to leave their homeland and hundreds are forced into displacement by conflict over the past four decades.

Some sources say over one million people have suffered casualties as a result of conflict in the country, but other put the number at nearly two million.

Nearly 4.4 million people, or 13.9 percent of Afghanistan’s total population, have been maimed. About 50 percent of Afghans are living under the poverty line.


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