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Sehrish A Teacher To Her Siblings – A Photoessay

Sehrish A Teacher To Her Siblings – A Photoessay
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They say hard times either break you or make you. These lines can’t be more true to anyone than Sehrish. It is just that she is not quite sure whether they broke her dreams of a bright future or made her a hero for her family, or, both at the same time.

Sehrish having tea with her siblings

In just few months, fifteen-year-old Sehrish looks quite confident to change her family fortune, showing that dedication can lead to success. Despite mounting obstacles, she vows to support her family and educate her siblings. Sehrish is first of the four children belonging to a poor family from the Rainawari area of Old Srinagar. Although Sehrish was a very bright and successful student, studying in 10th standard in a government run school but she had to stop her education because of the September 2014 floods. Sehrish and her family lost everything, even shelter, as their house was washed away by the ravishing floods. Abdul Ghani (45-year old), father of Sehrish and only bread owner of the family comprised of five members, earning a meager 60$ a month by ferrying passengers in local bus as a conductor, somehow manages to feed his family.

Sehrish teaching her younger brother Saqib while her younger sister Bazila looks at the camera.

Portrait of Siblings of Sehrish Bazila and Saqib.

Sensing all that her family was going through, Sehrish sacrificed her education in order to save money for all the other household expenses. She started to teach her siblings herself at their temporary wooden rooms provided to them by an NGO. “I can at least teach my brother and sisters at home till they are in the high school.” says Sehrish. Sehrish, mature beyond her age, is not just a teacher to her siblings, but she also is a helping hand to her mother, a moral support to her father, in all, the star of her family.

While playing with her siblings Sehrish gestures her mother that she’s not feeling well.

In wet weather conditions alongside Dal lake, Sehrish, helps her mother in washing utensils.

Meanwhile, she took admission in the free Islamic school (Darsgah) in her locality to read Qur’an and without any surprise, passed her exams with distinction.

Leaving her studies at bay, Sehrish teach her younger sister Bazila.

Sehrish, besides spending whole day working at home, attends her Islamic Class in evening.

In spite of this success, she is deeply saddened because she cannot cover her educational expenses with what her father earns; after all he has mouths to feed and bellies to fill. She is desperate to find a source of income that would allow her continue her studies and help support her family.

Despite all of the economic challenges they faced, her parents are happy that their daughter is able to teach her siblings at home, keeping the hope of a better future for them alive in otherwise utterly hopeless situations.

Being a sister, Sehrish lovingly teaches her 10-yr-old brother in her lap.

Author can be reached at aliaskari2008@gmail.com

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