An insight into the vendors’ lives

By Aqsa Mansoor

Karachi ‘a mothercity’ as many migrants call it. The city has welcomed migrants who belongs to different ethnicity and backgrounds. These migrants arrive in Karachi with one aim ‘to make ends meet, by any way possible’. The city has rewarded these by migrants who came with nothing. Majority of the vendors at Karachi’s Clifton beach also come from different parts of Pakistan to earn a livelihood. Here’s some insight into their lives.

Shabbir – Adding flavors in people’s life

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PHOTO: HAMNA BAIG

For the past 10 years Shabbir, 45, who belongs to Bahawalpur was a porterage by profession but since old age is striking he can’t really continue that job.  Trying to adjust on seaview with his stall of ‘pakoras’ , he earns Rs.500 to 1000 per day.

Shabbir is content with his small business as long as his family gets enough food to eat on time.

“Like the unpredictability of a sea wave no one can really say that they have earned fully everyday. There have been days when there aren’t enough people or sea view gets closed by the government”, says Shabbir.

When asked about how he copes up with the other stalls and businesses running by the sea, he says,  “There are many stalls here by the sea with one commonality that is to earn money and to feed our family. So there is no competition between us.”

Shaan- Provides treasured souvenirs

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PHOTO: AQSA MANSOOR

Shaan,16, originally from Faisalabad with dreams in his eyes to earn well is in Karachi nowadays. He earns through a small stall of seashell handicrafts on sea view. After Shaan’s family migrated to Karachi, he’s been doing this toil and earns Rs.10,000 to 12,000  a month.

Since my childhood we’ve been doing this business and have never faced any difficulties. Through this business I’ve been able to feed my family properly”, says Shaan.

With an electric smile on his face, he showed us all the things he displayed on his stall – decorated mirrors, photo-frames, dolls and Calligraphic names of Allah. He said, “It always makes me happy when people purchase and value my handicrafts. These are made of real seashells found on the sea shore which people can treasure as a souvenir.”

Meher Uddin- Following his passion

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PHOTO: HAMNA BAIG

Capturing happiness of others, Meher Uddin , 38, is working as a shutterbug on seaview for the past 15 years. Handling multiple tasks from capturing a picture to printing it and then delivering it to the customer, Meher earns around Rs.500 a day.

“Photography has always been my passion and I believe one should always do what they love. There have been days when I and my family doesn’t have enough food to eat but I will continue doing this job because I believe in Passion over money .”

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