“Homemade bread only for ten rupees,” Reshma is trying to get the attention of people with her innocent voice in the the streets of Mandi Bazaar of Mohmand Agency.
The 11 year old sole bread earner Reshma, reads in class 5 in a local government school and sells “Chapatti” — homemade bread in the main Mandi Bazzar.
She goes to school daily but attends only two classes because she has to return home soon, and pick up a basket of Chapatis’ to sell in the market. She covers about 5 kilometer distance daily by foot.
Reshma, having shabby clothes & old footwear, is trying to hide her piercing eyes with her torn shall when interacting with buyers. “My mother prepares 20 to 25 Chapati (breads) at home. A chapatti is of Rs. 10,” Rimsha told Tribal Post.
“I sell Chapatti, and also collect used papers, empty bottles, old metals, etc to sell them in the market. I earned about hundred and fifty rupees daily, and then buy food items and medicines etc for my family,” added Reshma.
Reshma is accompanied by her six years old sister Taiba who is getting training of this minor business. When Reshma will be 12, Tayeba will take the responsibility of selling the “Chapati” and Remash will sit at home, similarly as before Reshma, her elder sister Rabia was running the same business but she quite it as wearing the virginity fatigues.
When Reshma was 4 years old, the life was not that much difficult. Then her family had a happy life, but terrorism in the tribal regions ruined their happiness like many other tribal families.
It was a Sunday of March 2010, the Disastrous day for their family when they received the heart wrenching news that their 22 years old brother Imran – the only support of his family, was killed near Pak-Afghan border.
Imran was a truck driver driving the truck on both side of the Durandline. He and other truck drivers were on the way when kidnapped by the Taliban but set free after they were found innocent. However, on the way back, the armed men of local Peace Committee opened fire on them while safeguarding their territory against Taliban and killed Imran on the spot. The Committee men believed that Imran and other drivers were Taliban-suspects in territory of Mohmand Agency.
Reshma’s father was killed in a suicide blast while her elder brother by the government formed peace committee.
Those members of Peace Committee were never punished for killing Imran. The committee members have full authority in the area and no one can ask them about their acts.
Peace Committees were formed by ‘Political Administration’, the local government to fight militants in the tribal regions, whereas dozens of the committees’ members were also targeted by Taliban in Fata.
After Imran’s death by the government formed committee, the Political Administration announced three thousand rupees monthly as compensation to the Reshma’s family but they were never granted with the “Shuhada Fund” (martyred package) by the government.
Imran left behind 18 years widow, and two children Roman and Sidra. He promised with his new bride that he will construct a room of bricks, and make it more furnish after earning money but he was brutally killed before he could fulfill his dream for his family.
Reshma bought toys once in a month not for herself but for their deceased brother’s children. Playing with toys bought by Reshma is the biggest joy of life of Roman and Sidra.
In 2010, during Eid-ul-Azha, Imran’s children demanding new clothes and sheos which their grandfather could not provide. He had not received the compensation amount for four months. Eid-ul-Azha was passed but he promised the orphan children to buy clothes and shoes for them after he get compensation. To inquire about his martyred son’s compensation amount, he went to the Political Compound in Mohamand Agency’s headquarter where a Jirga was going on. But it became another terrible day for Reshma’s dread family.
As he reached there, suddenly twin suicide bombers targeted the Jirga killing 42 persons and Ghuran was one among the killed person.
Reshma’s mother is hopeless saying that she is worried about her daughters and Imran’s children. “I am worried about Rabia how she will get marry, you know a virgin daughter in home raises a lot of questions in Pashtun society, and also worried about future of whole family living in a mud made house,” said Reshma’s mother Saleema.
Though, Reshma lost her elder brother and father to terrorism, but unlike her mother she is hopeful that God will change their life and they will succeed to face all odds and challenges.
SUPPORT RESHMA: We are running a fundraising campaign for Reshma and her family under the Tribal Humans Fundraiser Program. Your single donation can change the life of Reshma and her helpless family.