Idara-al-khair – a house to thousands who aspire to be the future of Pakistan. A ray of light in the midst of dark. Idara al khair is not a school, it is an idea, a vision and a mission. A vision by the President. What the world saw as nothing but a waste of space, Mr Mazahir saw hope. It is that hope that Mr Mazahir kept which laid foundation to the Idara al Khair the world knows today
In this world, Education is not given, it is sold to the highest bidders. Not everyone can afford that. Those who are unable to afford it, are confined to poverty and negligence. Something had to be done. The journey to change the world is worth a thousand steps. Mr Mazahir took the first steps in Mustafa colony. This colony was chosen because it was the hub of all evil. Gambling was common, theft was on an all time high and it was proving to be the breeding ground for all criminal activities. The children of this area were growing to meet these expectations. Becoming skilled thieves and gamblers. A major change was required to keep that from happening. Darkness was prevailing and when it seemed like there was no hope for the colony, Mr Mazahir walked in with a light in the darkness
At first, there was major opposition to the change. The idea that education can improve the conditions of the people was highly unpopular. A change in the mindset of people was required. Parents were not willing to send their children down this path. Mr Mazahir took it upon himself to change that idea. He got involved with the children, played with them, talked to them and educated them. This earned him the trust of five children. He bought a hut and started teaching his new students. Mr Mazahir soon discovered that these students were not only hungry for education but also very insightful. This little candle lighted in the dark soon attracted more students. Slowly, the number of students began to increase such that, the hut was no longer enough to seat all the students. More huts were required as the number of students crossed 100 over the period of six months. More teachers were required as well as more huts. Mr Mazahir bought neighboring huts to expand his school while relocating the resident families to other areas of the colony. The matter of more teachers was still unaddressed. This was a more troublesome issue. Teachers were not willing to cross over to a terror stricken Mustufa colony.
Fortune has always favored the brave. Inspired by Mr Mazahir’s continued efforts, some teachers did join hands in his mission to educate the neglected side of Pakistan. The next step was to bring girls to the classroom. The mindset of the people was still fixed; male is the bread winner while female is the bread cooker. Locals believed that girls have no use in the classrooms and that their place lies in the kitchen. Mr Mazahir set out to change that. He met with heads of the families and preached them about importance of education for both boys and girls. The result was slow but fruitful. Girls soon started attending classes. To much surprise, they turned out to be more hardworking than the boys. The continued preaching lead to an increase in the ratio of inflow of girls into the classrooms.
The infrastructure of the school was established by 1990. It was time to convert these huts into a school. Funds were required for the task at hand. Mr Mazahir would wait for hours in the sun to meet businessmen and investors. Nobody knew or believed in him. This did not hold him back. He continued his mission. He kept meeting people and collecting funds. The school we see today signifies all those efforts. It took time but soon there were enough funds to convert those 1300 sq yard covering huts into a 78 room building with state of the art classrooms, labs, cafeteria, and every requirement of a proper school. Every year more than 200 students apply at Idara Al Khair to start their path of enlightenment which is lighted by the President, Mr Mazahir. From primary to intermediate, Idara al khair has skilled teachers for every subject for every class. No stone remains unturned to ensure these students find their path. Every year the Idara al Khair family grows stronger with new students coming in every year. This will now not stop until every child is blessed with education and Pakistan becomes the country with highest literacy rate.
The outcome of the seed planted by Mr Mazahir has been nothing short of inspiring. The rate at which criminals were being produced by Mustufa colony has fallen sharply. The rate at which inspiring young blood coming out of the place has increased greatly. Some students have secured admission into universities after their intermediate. Female literacy has improved and that has improved their living standards. Drug and child abuse has depleted from that society. Parents now encourage their children to continue studies. Child labor has been cured to a great extent. Standard of living for families has also improved since their heir is now educated and can get a respectful job. This is all due to education. Education can change lives. The colony had potential. All they needed was a push. That Push came in the form of Idara Al Khair….