A Heartwarming Tale of Soles and Shoes
Dir, a small scenic town located in Pakistan was its usual self bustling with shopkeepers and vendors. The locals in the street were busy with their staple businesses that complement the classic ambience of this picturesque locale.
That’s when I first caught a glimpse of Asghar Ali, a diminutive man with a great beard. He wore a simple piece of cloth perfect to protect himself from the rough weather conditions of this small little settlement. While his garments were surprising, it was his shoe-making skills that caught my attention. I walked towards him to observe his competencies closely. For a man of a trade that has no preferred repute, the aptness of his shoes was under dispute.
As the sole owner of his custom shoe and repair shop, Asghar Ali was an atypical local. Reserved and soft-spoken he explained to me that shoe-making had been his profession since 40 years. A father to 3 sons and 2 daughters, Asghar Ali had inherited shoe-making as a profession from his forefathers.
With limited access to education and financial support, Asghar Ali was enforced to partake shoe-making as a profession. Making a bare minimum of $ 150-200 per month, Asghar Ali yet seemed to be content with his work. His ornamenting was masterful and that could be clearly seen in his weaves. All the shoes he repaired were done with utmost care.
As he smiled and simpered weaving at his shoes, I promised myself to help this good soul escape the impoverished hell! While most of us indulge in expensive buying at malls and community centers, let’s take a step and help this man make a better living for himself!