Married at 12, Maryam, now mother of eight, used to live a miserable life working at agriculture lands of a landlord along with her husband in Umerkot district, but at a later stage encouraged her husband Meero and their son to learn skills, which brought a pleasant change in their life
By Abdul Latif Soomro
Here is story of Maryam, her husband Meero and their son Amarchand, who changed their life by learning skills.
Maryam, 51, was born in village Marland Farm of Union Council Haji Mian Shah taluka Umerkot district Umerkot of Sindh. Her parents were peasants of landlord Ameer Bux Mari. She never visited school and had four brothers and two sisters, all uneducated, engaged in labor and agriculture work along with their father.
She was married at the age of 12 without her consent according to local culture and traditions. She started her family life from single-room house. “My life started working at agriculture lands along with my husband,” she told.
Her first child was born soon after a year and later gave birth to eight children with a gape of one year between them. Now her two girls are married.
“One day we – me and my husband, discussed future of our children. As the labor work income was not sufficient for our children therefore we decided to look for another additional source of income,” she said.
“My husband wanted to learn tractor driving during free time at landlord.”
“One day, Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO) team of Sindh Government-funded Peoples’ Poverty Reduction Program (PPRP) visited our village. I was also called for meeting where I listened to all of their talks with full attention and decided to join Community Organization (CO) for my own and community development. The women of my village selected me as Saddar (President) of Community Organization. Later, we started holding routine meetings, and saving the money,” Maryam told.
In the meantime, her husband Meero learnt tractor driving. “Our life became easy after my husband started job as tractor driver on monthly salary at our landlord’s farm. This added some more money to what we earned from work at agriculture land,” she told.
“This made me to believe that a man without skill is zilch, and therefore I always tried to engage my children in skill so that they can live a respectful life with dignity,” Maryam said.
Maryam continued her story of life. “After the formation of CO, the team discussed with us about skill development and with support of CO members nominated my son Amarchand for Community Livestock Extension Worker (CLEW) training through Vocational Training Program (VTP) under Peoples Poverty Reduction Program.”
The Institute of Management and Skill Development (IMSD) the, training wing of Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO) with coordination of Sindh Livestock and Husbandry Department had designed the course for CLEW training at Umerkot.
The trainer was certified from Livestock & Husbandry Department where Deputy Director of Livestock Department monitored day to day activities carried out by trainees. The training was entirely practical and conducted at class room and field attachment.
The overall objective of training was to impart the animal healthcare, production and management skills like developing skills on nutritional requirements of livestock for better production; enabling to deal First Aid cases, animal vaccination and basic measures at household/village level; sharpen the communication and social mobilization skills as livestock extension services providers and develop entrepreneur’s skills.
Amarchand successfully completed the CLEW training at Umerkot and got attached to Livestock and Husbandry Department with Deputy Director Livestock. Now he is doing routine immunization with respective DVOs in different UCs of district Umerkot.
“Now I am learning new things on daily basis while working with livestock department for vaccination, and earning about Rs.200-300 on daily basis in different villages of Umerkot,” Amarchand told.
Delighted on positive change in the life of her family, Maryam said, “Now I am happy thanks to Government of Sindh for support and encouragement.”
Amarchand also added: “Majority of COs and VOs office bearers use to call me for vaccination for the livestock, which they had purchased under the program.”