KARACHI: For the residents of Malir—Noor Ali is a one stop solution for their drinking water woes. Tired of the saline water which comes in their taps, they contact Ali who brings each house water canisters. A rented donkey and his son Hadi—are his most trusted aides.
Here is his story:
My day starts at Fajr, when I leave my house in Korangi with my son on a rented donkey cart. I charge Rs20 a gallon, unlike my competitors who charge Rs 30 a gallon. Such cheats- they rob poor of their money
The people here are not very rich. But they are forced to purchase drinking water as the water in their taps is poison to their health.
I have been doing this work for the last 15 years. When I was still selling a gallon for Rs5. Now I am 55 years old; my beard is white, my bones weak.
That is why I bring my son to work. So that he learns the whole process. When he takes over I will rest at home.
I could never save enough money to send Hadi to school. Sometimes I think if he went to school, he would have gotten a good job, and I would not have to work so hard.
But for now I wish I had more work to do. So that, things at my house improve. We don’t make much money. I can cook very well—all kinds of food; Desi and Chinese.
I bring Hadi with me so that he can see how poor some households are. And that we are still better off.
Photos and text by: S. Hussain Hyder Zaidi