Good parents want the best for their children, and are willing to sacrifice themselves to see them happy. We all want our children to grow up to be comfortable and respected, which usually means instructing them to not take their education for granted.
One man, Idris, sacrificed a lot of himself for his children to attend college and receive a good education despite great poverty and suffering.
Photojournalist GMB Akash travels the world searching for stories of humanity. He met Idris on one of his trips and took this portrait of him, and posted it on Facebook along with Idris’s life story:
“I never told my children what my job was. I never wanted them to feel ashamed because of me. When my youngest daughter asked me what I did, I used to tell her hesitantly that I was a labourer. Before I went back home every day, I used to take bath in public toilets so they did not get any hint of the work I was doing. I wanted to send my daughters to school, to educate them. I wanted them to stand in front of people with dignity. I never wanted anyone to look down upon them like how everyone did to me.
People always humiliated me. I invested every penny of my earnings for my daughters’ education. I never bought a new shirt, instead used the money for buying books for them. Respect, which is all I wanted them to earn for me. I was a cleaner.”
As Idris explained, he could work and hard as he could and sacrifice much, but sometimes it still could not be enough in this cruel world of ours, adding:
“The day before the last date of my daughter’s college admission, I could not manage to get her admission fees. I could not work that day. I was sitting beside the rubbish, trying hard to hide my tears. All my coworkers were looking at me but no one came to speak to me. I had failed and felt heartbroken. I had no idea how to face my daughter who would ask me about the admission fees once I got back home. I am born poor. I believed nothing good can happen to a poor person.”
Fortunately, he had the support of his co-workers to give this story a happy ending.
As he explained, “After work all the cleaners came to me, sat beside and asked if I considered them as brothers. Before I could answer, they handed me their one day’s income. When I tried to refuse everyone; they confronted by saying, ‘We will starve today if needed but our daughter has to go to college.’ I couldn’t reply them. That day I did not take a shower, I went back to my house like a cleaner.”
In the end, hard work bears fruit, and fortunately, Idris’s children have not forgotten those who gave up much for them.
“My daughter is going to finish her University very soon. Three of them do not let me go to work anymore. She has a part time job and three of them do tuition. But often she takes me to my working place. Feed all my coworkers along with me. They laugh and ask her why she feeds them so often.
My daughter told them, ‘All of you starved for me that day so I can become what I am today, pray for me that I can feed you all, every day.'”
He finally concluded, “Now a days I don’t feel like I am a poor man. Whoever has such children, how can he be poor!”