A homeless family sleeping on the streets of Lahore, got a new lease of life thanks to a Good Samaritan, reported Gulf News.
The father, who is a person of determination, was photographed sleeping with his children in the cold nights in Pakistan’s state of Punjab by a journalist, @iihtishamm.
He shared the pictures, writing: “A helpless family sleeping on the streets of Lahore’s Mall Road, wearing a blanket of poverty.”
His tweet received a lot of attention on social media, including a response from Dr Shahbaz Gill, the chief spokesperson of Punjab’s Chief Minister.
@ShabazGil tweeted: “Punjab government [is] building five shelter houses in Lahore. Inshallah, the first one will be built within 60 days. Meanwhile, if anyone knows about this location, please let me know so that help could be extended to this family.”
However, even before the pictures went viral, one man who did spot the family was Umer Hussain, a business owner who usually cycles between his outlets in Lahore.
Coming across the family on October 27, Hussain shared a conversation with the father as a story on his Instagram account.
He asked the father why he was sleeping on the streets and told him to not bring his children to sleep with him on the streets and promised to offer them an education.
This week, the family was still there – shivering huddled together.
Speaking to Gulf News, Hussain said: “I had warned the father to not bring the children with him when he was selling those baskets and he had promised that he won’t do so. So, when I saw them on the street again five days ago, I got really upset. I called the police because I wanted to make sure that these were his children,”
Hussain didn’t stop there. He went on to check on the man’s family and once he was confident that the children were his, he took them shopping for clothes and had dinner with them.
In a Facebook post, he shared pictures from his time with the family and asked people who wanted to help the family to send their donations to any one of his restaurants.
He said that he had already contacted the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau and searched for schools nearby, where the children could study.
“We are doing our homework because we actually want to make a difference. It is not about a publicity stunt, it is about changing the life of these children forever,” he told Gulf News
He went on to add that the Pakistan government has banned child labour, but children who are used as bait to sell products or for begging is also a critical social issue.
“Children should not be on the streets. That is the point. If there is no child labour, children should also not be allowed to be used to beg. So, the government should ensure that children go to school.”