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Why it is like that????????

Naveed Asif sitting on stairs

The waves of sun were smiling on Earth. The earth was burning like red fire as a result of receiving the smile. On one corner of Pakistan, some citizens were getting ready to depart for the ceremony, the distribution of trophies among the students who secured positions in matriculation annual examination 2009 in Board of intermediate and secondary education Lahore, on Saturday 2 Aug 2009. For this special occasion, people wore dresses of different styles, different shades, and different textiles. Some women preferred to put on long silk skirts and shirts of contrast colors such as black skirt and white shirt etc. Furthermore, some women preferred to put on cotton shalwar kameez of a variety of colors. On the other hand, men also struggled a lot to become visible in the ceremony by wearing different outfits i.e. jeans, formal dresses of variety of color etc. Children were also mounting the colors of the ceremony with their attractive laughter and dresses resembling fairies and princes.

The ceremony room was as big as Pakistani parliament. The organizers decorated the ceremony room with disco lights, shining papers with unusual designs hanging along the wall; red, white, blue, pink balloons were wandering on the ground, chairs covered with cloth of red white silk, the yellow color, glittery writing on the banner hanging along the backside wall demonstrating the purpose of the ceremony, and the green velvet carpet leaning on the stairway hitting the wall of the stage boosted the gorgeousness of the ceremony.

The people were giggling wiggling with the people from different areas or the same area. They were blissful to be the part of this occasion. The champions of that year ceremony, sitting in the front row of chairs, were a little mystified, a little nervous, and a little proud. Some were looking back again and again toward their parents, relatives and friends sitting at the back to reduce their mystery that how it would look when they would be on stage.

Their mystery got an end when Shamir Ali, a PTV anchor, says with his loud voice “Starting with the name of ALLAH, the most beneficent, the most merciful. Today we all gather here to celebrate the success of those talented students who worked as hard as one farmer, who work on land entire year to get excellent outcome. These prizes are the outcome for the students for their hard work throughout the year. We are honor to have Chief Minister of Punjab among us. Without delaying and making distance between the champions and prizes ……a laugh, a big clap…., I would call the Chief Minster on the stage to present the medals to the champions. Please give a big hand to Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif.”

Then prize distribution ceremony started and announcer called the name of the first position holders Hafiz Muhammad Akmal and Ali Murtaza. The two tall boys, one wearing spectacles, made their way toward the stage with smile on their faces and arrogance in their walk. When they reached on the stage, both of them shake hands with Chief Minister and took their medals in the shade of applause.

Following the first position holders, there was a turn of second position holder who belonged to a village Nahranwali near Okara named Naveed Asif. The announcer called “the second prize goes to Naveed Asif” and with the applause, people welcomed a boy of age almost 17 year in little ragged brown shalwar Kameez and foam slippers with two stripes. Boy had a smile on his face and humbleness in his walk during his way to the stage. He scored 919 marks and got second position in BISE Lahore. His school was 7km away from his home and he used to walk 7km everyday to go to his school. He said:

“I and my mother were really terrified when BISE Lahore team reached our home late at night before announcement of the result. You may think it’s ridiculous but I always said to my mother that I wanted to be like Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah,” he further said. “Quaid-e-Azam is a role model for me.”

His working hard fetched him to this stage. But this achievement did not make him overconfident. His humbleness showed that he is thankful to God and his family members. His dressing gives you an idea that he is not money-oriented person. Similar to other people, he did not wear new clothes to boast, he was successful so he came in the same dress he used to wear in his everyday life.

After receiving silver medal, he made his way towards his seat. After reaching near to the seat, he realizes that someone else had already occupied the seat. Like other people, he did not start fighting for that seat. His eyes starting to look for another seat in the room but they could not notice any and came back to him lacking hope. He decided to sit on stair and he sat on stairs with medal in his neck and cash prize in a folder. Because of his ragged clothes and foam slippers, no one gave him a seat to sit.

Sitting on the stairs did not decrease his importance; he is still more admirable than numerous others who were sitting on chairs. Until when we have to face this kind of mentality where people always think about money and give respect to wealthy person. What sort of nation we are????? Can’t we give him the respect that he deserves after such hard work???? People like him are the blessings of Allah for our homeland and future, and slap on the people who said Pakistan is a fail state. We are proud on Naveed Asif. May ALLAH Almighty bless him with more successes and give him all the happiness.

We Solute this boy for his endless hopes and spirit.

In Pakistani society, people always suppress the poor and villagers. People with high class don’t want the people who belong to remote area to compete with them, no matter how much they are intelligent, dedicated and hard working. This sort of mentality is a big hurdle in the progress of Pakistan.

People always try to make difference between rich and poor, rural and urban, black and white, high cast and low cast. They never think that we are all human being. They just consider materialistic world. Most of them never try to promote the people on the base of their intelligence. Being a citizen of Pakistan, it is our responsibility to encourage everyone who can take part in the development of Pakistan. It is our country, our mother land, and our faith a so, we have the responsibility to think about its progress and heave the name of Pakistan. Don’t we?



JaniceW's picture


I am moved by this compelling portrait of Naveed Asif and the challenges he overcame to become second in his class. Your questions speak to the disparity not only in Pakistan but here in Cambodia and around the world. There is still so much that needs to be done to bring equality to everyone, and to unite people around a love of their country and their fellow citizens. We cannot choose the country or circumstances in which we are born. But we can, and should, recognize that we are all part of one human family. It begins with us.

Thank you for sharing this inspirational story. Best wishes,

"Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that generation."
Nelson Mandela

Asma Ejaz's picture

Thank you.

Dear Janice:
People ought to unite on the basis of their intelligence and character not on the bases of status.This is just one news I shared from Pakistan.I believe that there are many same stories around the world.
Thank you.


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