Wheelchair bound Amjad Ali, a 21-year-old polio sufferer, waits for his students to arrive at the education center he runs in his rented house on a muddy road in Fareed Colony, an underdeveloped neighborhood of Karachi’s Orangi City.
Ali does not have a higher education degree or sufficient experience in running an educational institution. All she had was a passion for teaching, so she helped educate the children around her. He also offers free tuition to students whose parents cannot afford it.
About 45 students under matriculation are currently enrolled at its education center. He usually charges each student between Rs150 and Rs250 a month for all subjects. Ten of them, three of whom were orphans, were taught free of charge.
“I hope to educate all the children who don’t have access to education, but I don’t have enough resources,” complained Ali. “Even as a person with a disability, I want to contribute as much as possible to the development of society.”
Ali was only eight months old when his parents took him to the hospital with symptoms of polio. He survived the ordeal, but he never learned to walk. “After surviving polio, whenever I thought about the future, I was always faced with a bleak picture. It is very difficult for one person to depend on another person, that too for life. The thought like that used to really grab me. “
But all that changed when he accepted the adage ‘The hand that gives is better than that which receives’. In 2018 he completed his secondary education and plans to enter university. Then he got a job as an accountant at a private school.
Now he also pays school fees for his younger siblings – two brothers and two sisters – and sometimes donates for the rent on a house, because their father works as a security guard for a private company and can barely make ends meet.
After completing his daily work, Ali ran his education center at night. He did not use traditional teaching methods. First, she helps her students revise the lessons they learn in school and then holds special classes to understand their individual learning curves.
“In formal education institutions, teachers only focus on exam results. They ignore the need to develop their students’ abilities, which tends to be my main focus. Sometimes children just need a little encouragement, and they can do the rest on their own. “
He believes that every human being has a special quality, and when they can find one, they can easily achieve all their goals. To explain his point, he said that many people without disabilities lead quite unsettling lives because they are not aware of their abilities, but on the other hand, many people with disabilities lead very successful lives because they know what they are capable of.
Discussing his future plans, he expressed his desire to set up a free school. However, he currently lacks the resources to make his dream come true, while the house that his father rented has limited space.
But at least one room in the house has been designated for an education center. “I want to enroll more children, but I don’t have enough space to fit everyone in a small room.” Apart from being a committed teacher, Ali has been a permanent member of the Wheelchair Basketball Association and the Pakistan Tennis Federation since 2017, and the Wheelchair Cricket Association since 2018. He has represented Karachi in many tournaments. However, he is committed to becoming a teacher. “Playing sports is interesting enough for me, but after a certain age, I won’t be able to continue. So, I prefer to focus on being an educator. “