There are some people in the world who win over others through their kindness, compassion, selflessness, and modesty. In today’s world, though the number of such people is somehow scanty, they haven’t ceased to exist yet. Muhammad Fareed Qureshi is an exemplar of such humility and selflessness, who runs a free rickshaw service for the needy in the loving memory of his wife.
Belonging to Muzaffarabad, Qureshi is a rickshaw driver, who dispenses his free pick-and-drop services to people with disabilities. He helps blind people, children with polio, paralysis affected patients, and any other person who seems to be going through some physical challenges.
Qureshi started this service some 8 years ago when his wife suffered an accident. The roof fell on his wife which ended up damaging her spine. She not only got paralyzed but lost her eyesight as well. Due to the unavailability of any vehicle at that time, they were delayed of hospital treatment and ultimately resulted in the death of his wife.
This incident shattered him to the core. To make sure that no one goes through the same cruelty of fate, Qureshi initiated the free rickshaw service for those who are needy and in the dire need of help due to their physical condition.
In an interview, Qureshi seemed heartbroken, recalling all the events that led to his wife’s death, “I loved my wife very much. It was difficult to live without her after her death. I thought why not do something that will help me to always remember my wife”, he said.
He further said, “My wife died because she didn’t get to the hospital on time. There are so many others like me who can’t go to the hospital because they don’t have money, so I have to do something for them”. This made him start a free service for the poor and needy, but couldn’t get a car due to the dearth of financial resources.
But when there’s a will, there’s a way. He ended up finding a man with a rickshaw and agreed on paying him the rent of 400 rupees daily for using his rickshaw. After getting a rickshaw, he also advertised his mission by writing, “Poor, blind, and disabled people can travel for free” and added his mobile number at the end. According to Qureshi, some 100 people from Muzaffarabad who require his services and are in constant contact with him.
Qureshi now aims to start his own ambulance service to help the underprivileged of the country. He says that helping the poor gives him peace of mind. Qureshi proved out to be the symbol of empathy and selflessness despite his limited financial resources. We wish to see privileged strata of this country taking initiatives like this.