I have heard about so many incredible personalities who sacrificed their lives for the sake of their nation and brought a huge revolution. They include Nelson Mandela, Che Guevara and many others. A similar personality and entity lived in Balochistan, who sacrificed his life for the betterment of his nation, brought a huge revolution in the field of education and spread awareness about education and its significance. He is Shaheed Sir Zahid Askani, who was born on 2nd January 1979, in his native village “Paroom”, district Panjgur.
He got his early education from Government High School Panjgur, Balochistan. He did his F.Sc. from Government Degree College, Panjgur, and sought his B.A and master’s degree from the University of Balochistan, Quetta. He had an enthusiasm to serve his nation. Thus, he went to Gwadar and started teaching as an English teacher in Agha Khan School for one year.
After much struggle and putting his utmost efforts, he established his own English language centre on 20th May 1999. It was an era when no one had familiarity with English language. Many people joined his language centre to learn English. As he was moving towards the direction of change, he received a host of hatred from people. However, he remained determined and committed to his passion. After a lot of hurdles, he established his own school on 10 January 2002, named “The Oasis School Gwadar”. His school was the first English medium school at that time. He changed the fate of Gwadar by his extraordinary work.
Today, the Oasis School has four campuses- second campus was established in 2007, third in 2008 and fourth in 2013.
Zahid Askani went to America and visited different educational institutes. He had the honour of being the vice president of Private Schools Association Gwadar and later the general secretary. For more than 16 years, he served his nation educationally. Apart from this, he was also a good writer. He translated Franz Kafka’s story “Metamorphosis” into Balochi in 2010.
He had a friendly relationship with his students. Moreover, he always motivated and appreciated the talents of students. He was punctual and sincere towards his work.
He had written some inspirational words in my dairy. I still remember his words: “Never be afraid of change; be afraid of not changing. Be an optimist and try to find opportunity in problems, not problems in opportunity.”
Unfortunately, on 4th December 2014, he was assassinated near his own gate by an unknown assassin. He was buried in his hometown “Paroom”.
They killed Shaheed Sir Zahid Askani, not his vision of an educated nation. He is not physically with us, but his vision and ideology will always remain alive. His services will always be remembered by his nation.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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