Microfinance and Hukam Daad: A Manifestation of Resilience
Amidst a collection of remarkable microfinance success stories, there is one that shines brilliantly: the inspiring tale of Hukam Daad. From the rugged region of Hazara emerges a story that truly embodies the saying, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Little did Hukam Daad realize that his escape from poverty’s grip would come in the form of Akhuwat’s interest-free loan.
Hukam Daad, referred by his friends as Pappu Bhai, believes that if a person has the will and intent to work, he does not need legs, arms or eyes – his will, alone, propels him to success.
He himself is a living testimony to his own assertion. After a severe attack of typhoid at age seven, and a misjudged diagnosis and injection by the local doctor in Hazara, Pakistan, Hukam Daad has weathered the severities of life with only one functional foot. With his father’s death, the family moved to Karachi in 1998, where he had the tough ordeal of completing his matriculation along with a technical diploma in motor winding, an apprenticeship with an electrician where he learned the intricacies of his craft, and simultaneously teaching tuition to younger students to contribute towards house expenses. Pappu Bhai recalls this as the most difficult time of his life before his life changed for good as he availed of Akhuwat’s support in the form of interest-free microfinance.
The Blend of Positivity and Resilience
In spite of his struggle, and the recent death of his mother, Hukam Daad welcomes you with a warm smile, asserting that he has learned from all his experiences and is content with life – “what should I be unthankful for, I have everything in life”, and his earnestness makes you believe him. The fruit of his labor is his own shop, where he builds and repairs electric motors, with a team of apprentices to whom he wants to transfer his technical abilities.
Interest-free Microfinance: Loans Turning Start-Ups into Success Stories
When he started his shop around four years ago, Hukam Daad only had his skill and Rs. 800 to rely on. He remembers how he was unable to fulfill some orders because the customers refused to pay in advance and he did not have the necessary funds to acquire the required spare parts in advance. This translated into less business. With a first loan of Rs.10,000 from Akhuwat, Hukam Daad got the required capital to buy spare parts in advance, filling up his shop with all the required items.
His Business grew big
It has grown since he availed of the interest-free loan from Akhuwat Microfinance Program, and so has his capacity to take in orders – with 7-8 young boys learning the craft from him currently, he is able to cater to up to 4 to 5 different clients simultaneously now. Just having repaid the third loan of Rs. 20,000, Hukam Daad believes his success wouldn’t have been possible without assistance from Akhuwat, for he could not have acquired the resources to buy material for his shop otherwise.
His Vision has Broadened Up
Discussion with Pappu Bhai crosses over from one topic to another – from the materials used in the interiors of a fan motor, we discuss the morality of big corporations, and wind up with the condition of electric supply in Pakistan. He sees his biggest accomplishment in the form of his apprentices and translates it as a continuation of his skill and ability, and is also highly aware of the necessity of education in a child’s development. For this purpose, he has devised an ingenious shift system for his apprentices, such that those that come to him for the morning shift attend school in the evening, and vice versa. This technique allows the students to continue their education, and at the same time acquire the technical expertise they can use later in life.
He Enjoys Financial Independence
Currently living with his brother in a rented house, he pays equally for the expenses of the house and leads an independent life, while at the same time supporting his brother by paying for his children’s school tuition fees.
He Aims Bigger!
His next aim, apart from expanding his business, is to own his own house – which, he believes, he can soon accomplish through the continued support from Akhuwat’s Islamic Microfinance Program.