For people at the bottom of the income and education inequality spectrum, the income and education gap of Pakistan can seem hopeless at times. Yet a waiter at a leading university proved that anything is possible with just a little help.
While waiting tables at a restaurant inside the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) campus, Ansar Ali was only able to dream of the kind of education the students were attending.
Salaar Khan, who served as the president of the LUMS student council from 2014-15, shared Ansar’s story on Twitter.
”Ansar was always smiling as he sprang from one order to the next. Quite effortlessly, he was everyone’s favorite. No one had seriously suspected the sorrow behind that smile,” he wrote.
Ansar was forced to quit school in the ninth grade to support family when his father passed away. In a thread, he continued, “To have been so fond of school, but compelled by circumstance to turn away is one thing. But to abandon school to work in a university […] seemed a special kind of cruelty.”
The LUMS graduate sat down with Ansar one night and told him about their plan to put him back in school. However, it soon became clear that it was not only paying his tuition fees but also covering the amount he would send home.
The pair even went to Nankana Sahib to convince Ansar’s mother to let him quit his job and rejoin school. “His mother was clearly proud of what a good student he had been. Hanging on his wall was a plaque he had received over a decade ago when he came 1st in the fifth grade.”
The family finally agreed on sending him back into a classroom but only if they would still receive the monthly amount he made as a waiter.
Covering both things would cost around 30k a month. Moreover, Ansar still had to do his FA/FSC, and then university. “Assuming nothing increased, this would be a total amount of close to 20 lakhs. It seemed a fairly impossible task, but we decided we would figure it out as we went along,” Salaar added.
They set up a GoFundMe account and put up donation boxes all over campus. After a week, Ansar quit his job and went back to school.
Ansar kept a note on his room’s wall for motivation for the examination. It read: ”I will score 800+”.
How a little help does wonders
The hard work paid off as he bagged over 800 marks in the examination, landing an A grade. Having completed high school, it was time to enroll in a university. He had an affinity for numbers and decided to pursue accounts at university. He got a partial scholarship at Islamabad’s SZABIST. Ansar is set to complete his bachelor’s in Accounting and Finance in two months.
They also enrolled Ansar in an online English course.
Ansar has come a long way
“Needless to say, Ansar has come a long long way,” Salaar added. “And none of this would have been possible without the generosity and support of countless people along the way. But there’s one more step – and that’s where you can become a part of his journey.” Sharing Ansar’s resume, he asked people to help him finding a best suited job.
Ansar expresses his gratitude
As we discovered Ansar on Twitter, we learned how grateful he is for those who helped him.
His bio reads, “Never forget those who helped you to achieve your goals”. Last year, a Pakistani ‘Baba Ji’ also got admission at the University Of Malakand to complete his Bachelors.
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