BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: A poor man, who wouldn’t usually afford two times meal, returned one million rupees he found on a road in Gilgit to the owner, setting a standard of high moral values rarely seen in the country.
This happened in Gilgit on Wednesday, a day before New Year.
Abdul Hameed, 28, was on his way to work in Jutial area when he came across an unattended bag lying on the road.
“I checked the bag and found it was full of money,” says Hameed who works in an automobile workshop in Gilgit. Originally he hails from district Ghizer’s Yaseen valley, about 150 kilometers from Gilgit.
“I took it back to home and counted the money. It was one million,” Hameed said on Sunday.
“But then the main issue was to trace the owner,” says Hameed who like many youths never went to a school in his valley which is still one of the least developed in terms of infrastructure.
Hameed approached one of his colleagues, who lived in his neighborhood, to share the story. The man further shared Hameed’s story with his boss Mitar Jan, a prominent social activists of Ghizer valley. Meanwhile, Hameed said, they got to know that the money belonged to a cashier in NATCO, a government sponsored transport company. “I earn sometime 10,000 and other times upto 15000 a month but I never thought of using ill-gotten money. This is how I have been brought up.”
The next day, a delegation comprising Mitar Jan, a local journalist Wajid Ali and another person named Arab Khan, went to NATCO office to handover the money in an honourable way. “We wanted to present the money in a way that could acknowledge and pay tribute to this young man,” said Ali. “But head of NATCO Muhammad Saeedullah refused to meet us though we had conveyed him the purpose of meeting and other details,” Ali said.
Then we managed to meet a general manager and handed the money to him in his office, Ali added, adding it was unbelievable that a cash starved man wouldn’t think for a second of using the money.
Hameed is married and has two kids. He lives with his family in Gilgit in a rented house, of which he pays monthly pays Rs3000 rent. The meagre income is the main impediment Hameed hasn’t been able to decide if he should send his kids to a school or send to work.