At individual level, we often think that a single person can’t do any good for society, particularly at large scale level without moral, physical and inspirational support from an external agency or people. However, there are people on this globe who achieve glories that hundreds of others can’t even think of attaining together.
Master Ayub, one of those extraordinary examples, has been teaching unprivileged and poor children of Islamabad for the last 29 years and that too without receiving a single penny from the government or dononr agencies. Converting a public park in Islamabad into an evening school, he vowed to teach these would be illiterate kids and has been able to do so for such a long time now, all alone. Mr. Ayub is managing a school that is set under the sky and registers over 280 students.
Master Ayub was born on 15th March, 1958 in District Mandi Bhahudin. His ancestors came from the East Punjab during the partition of British India. His father Hanif was a poor man and taught his child himself. After getting early education from his father, Ayub enrolled to M.B. High school Mandi Bhahudin from where he did his matriculation. After passing the metric exam he decided to study further in college but his father had not enough money to teach his son except giving him food and shelter. In the same year, Ayub father passed away leaving Ayub, being the eldest, the enormous responsibility of taking care of his four younger brothers and three sisters. It was, indeed, a critical phase in Ayub’s life which changed his whole life. He had to feed his family members with out having a job.
Ayub started as salesman at a general store earning a meager pay barely sufficient to make both ends meet. After a few months he was able to arrange some money from his friends and started his own cycle repair workshop. This enabled him to look after the needs of his younger brothers and sisters. After one year he got admission in Degree College Mandi Bhahudin. He continued with his cycle repair shop along with his education. One day he was teaching his younger sister when he thought of hundreds of poor children unable to get school education due to financial constraints. That was the moment he vowed to undertake this painstaking initiative of teachning un-privileged children free of cost till his last breath.
In 1975 he came to Islamabad and joined Civil Defence as a Fireman. In 1982 Ayub convinced local shopkeepers that education was vital and every child has the right to go to school. Soon, the shopkeepers started sending their children to him along with the helper kids working in their shops. He started with gathering children from F-6. He gave them stationary and notebooks. Soon many people started sending their children to him. In the beginning, he faced many hardships and pressure from the local community as well as the government agencies but he kept on working.
After their morning errands, the children enrolled with Master Ayub gather in the park every evening for study. It gives Master Ayub immense pleasure and an unknown satisifaction over giving something back to his community. Master Ayub is a poor man with no financial backing from any quarter. The only donations that he ever received were from Ahmad Faraz, the poet, and Rana Ehsan Zaidi, former Chairman of National Library. Many of Master Ayub students have moved on to universities while some are on good jobs. Master Ayub pays educational expenses for his students who enter universities as much as he can afford. Some of his former students help him in teaching at the school. Currently, there are five former students who help Ayub at the school. These former students are doing their MBA or bachelor’s degrees.
Master Auyb presents the real face of Pakistani nation. The question that comes to mind is how much of money is being spent by international funding agencies for education. They need to follow the model of Master Ayub and that for sure would lead to imparting at least basic education to every child of Pakistan.