Hakeema, lives in District Badin in rural Sindh. Hakeema is an African Sindhi also called Sheedi and is a direct descendant of the Bantu people in the South East African great lakes region.
Like most women in her community, she is unsure of her age but says she is over 40. Women of rural Sindh are the bravest, loving, polite & generous. Badin district is amongst the areas worst hit by climate-change and due to the climate conditions they live of extreme hardship.
Her village in 2003 was flooded almost and she lost her entire family in that flood including her kids, she had to survive to earn for herself, she would wake up at 4 AM, every single day, and carry milk on her shoulders. She would cover 5 kms, each side, on foot, to make money by selling that milk. She would then go to the farms and pick vegetables school only to repeat the whole thing again for an evening round of milk delivery. “I know that without an education, I won’t be able to find jobs in the city,” she says.
This woman inspires me. She has survived hunger, extreme climate and poverty. Regardless, of her situation Hakeema is always happy and positive towards life. Yes, Badin is not for everyone as the poverty rattles your system. But the values of its people and their spirit of survival leave an indelible mark. Every time I meet her she gives me so much unconditional. “I never went to school myself, and can only sign documents with a thumbprint. It makes me feel like a lesser human. I want to make sure any woman doesn’t end up like me,” she says.
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