It is not every day that we come across someone nurturing a humble cause inside an extraordinary heart. Master Ayub, as many know him as, is one such rare individual. The 58-year old defuses bombs and works as a fire extinguisher during the day, but that’s not all. After this, he cycles to a peaceful corner inside a public park in Islamabad, where he has set up a makeshift school which is famous by the name of Master Ayub park school. Under the bright sky, he provides education to children hailing from slums, for free! He has been doing this for the past 30 years, which is a long time indeed.
The journey of becoming a hero
The passion to provide a helping hand to poor, uneducated children, ignited in his heart a long time back. A family friend had assisted him years ago when he was going through trying times while making ends meet for his family. Since then, he wanted to reciprocate this gesture.
He moved to Islamabad from Mandi Bahauddin in 1986 and was surprised to find small kids scattered around the roads either begging, cleaning cars or working for mere alms in such a posh city. One day he asked a boy why he wasn’t in school and whether he wants to learn. On hearing ‘yes’, Master Ayub handed him a notebook, pencil, eraser and started teaching him right there! The philanthropist is a high school graduate himself, and since that day dedicated himself to free minors from the darkness of illiteracy. Day by day, his number of students increased, and today he accommodates more than a hundred of them.
Attracting controversy towards a noble cause
Even the humblest of intentions manage to get caught up in controversies. This is exactly what happened in Master Ayub’s case too. During the initial years, he was suspected by authorities to be a missionary because he was educating a lot of Christian children, despite being Muslim himself. Although the educator has gained recognition for his cause through awards by the Ministry of Education as well as a presidential award, he still faces a few suspicions till date. Many people have shown willingness to assist in his endeavor, but there are some who believe that nothing can come free. They accuse him of selling the school’s stationery and having no proof of how hefty donated amounts are utilized in a school with no proper infrastructure.
Humans of Pakistan team did a fundraiser for him but they ended up returning the money back to the people.You can check that story on Humans of Pakistan website, and they have explained it pretty well.Master Ayub, however, does not crave for any accolades. Neither does he find himself answerable to such suspicions because his efforts are justified by the success of his students over the previous three decades.
Pakistan is a country where education is underfunded and millions of children are deprived of even basic education. Master Ayub is a ray of hope for a better future. He is definitely a hero, who has inspired many by his sheer determination to educate children from slums. He has even set up a donation box where people are encouraged to donate simple stationery. This man can’t be thanked enough!