My name is Arif and people call me, "Arif Soldier". My parents used to reside in Jalandhar. I have studied upto 5th grade. I had a business dealing with 'wipers'. I had to work really hard because the circumstances were very tough and it was difficult to make both ends meet. Then somebody advised me to work here.
After watching the miserable conditions of migration on Television, I was pained and I realized what a blessing freedom is. That's when I got an idea to distribute sweets, flags and badges on 14th August. I do it all from my pocket money but nobody really encouraged me.
|Photo Courtesy Amna Javaid|
I want to help needy people and especially students related to the field of medicine. Due to lack of sufficient jobs I am stationed at the water tank. I am satisfied with my pay.
As per my observation, girls are more honest than boys.I placed a Rs. 1000/- note by the sidewalk once. The girls who walked by said this money should be returned to it's owner whereas the guys took the money and walked past. Thank God that note was fake.
I have painted quite a few buildings here and I am in love with this institute.
(Story published in Urdu Section Kemcol 2010.Translated by Fatima Qamar. Photos by Laiba Khalid)
14th August celebrations aren't complete for Kemcolians without the annual rituals by Arif Soldier, the man, who,in other days,looks after the Water-plant,standing attentive besides it,much like the guards outside Allama Iqbal's mausoleum.A walk along the busy pathway between Sports ground and once-upon-a-time-Jilani brings you the pleasant surprise of a warm greeting ,' Jashan-e-Azaadi Mobarak doctar saab', and a hospitable provision of an emblem of Pakistani Flag,soft mints and sipaaris by a Quaid look alike dressed in sherwani and Jinnah cap.He touches many hearts by his colorful show of patriotism. Read what Kemcolians have to say about him in the first blog of this series: 14th August Celebrations at KE - With badges, buntings, sipaaris & softmints