Crushed by years of unemployment, extreme poverty and the government apathy, Pervez Ahmed Samejo, a sacked railways employee, has put up his son and daughter for sale to pay enough bribes to get his job back.
Samejo arrived at the Dolphin Chowk at Minara Road on Tuesday with his three children in the hope of selling off two of them, Mehwish and Bilal, for Rs400,000 (USD 4,200). He has three more children and wants to secure their future.
Narrating his ordeal, Samejo said that in 1989 he was appointed as an assistant electrician in the Pakistan Railways. In 2002, his younger son Bilal underwent surgery for kidney stones. He applied for one week of leave as he wanted to look after his son, but it took Bilal 13 days to recover.
“When I went back to work after being absent for six extra days, the former divisional superintendent railways of Sukkur, Yakoob Zardari, told me, ‘your services are no more required’,” said Samejo. “Since then, I have been running from one office to another and one city to the other.”
To win back his job, the beleaguered father of six has visited Islamabad and Lahore several times to meet elected representatives and railway officials, including federal religious affairs minister Khursheed Shah, Senator Islamuddin Shaikh, MNA Nauman Islam Shaikh and the Pakistan Railways general manager.