A lot of us take school for granted and I know when I was in school, I was not an exception to that rule. Especially all the way up until college when the cost of attending school was free. For those that really value(d) education, what was the extent of which you were willing to sacrifice if someone told you that you could not afford to go? Would you kill yourself? Crazy question right? Well unfortunately for a Pakistani schoolboy, that’s exactly what he did.
A thirteen year old student in Pakistan, Kamran Khan died after soaking himself in petrol and setting himself on fire all because his family couldn’t afford to buy him a school uniform. Although he attended a local private school for free and was on a scholarship Kamran’s family was too poor to afford to replace his old worn-out school uniform.
The incident all started with an argument between Kamran and his mother. After being pushed to edge, she lost her patience and slapped Kamran, telling him that they couldn’t afford new school clothes.Now instead of pouting, screaming, yelling and everything else a teenager would do after hearing the word “No”, he took it a step further and threatened to commit suicide if his parents didn’t get him one.
That’s when he ran outside, poured petrol all over his body and set himself on fire.He was immediately rushed to an army-run hospital but the family couldn’t afford to pay for his medical care totaling $5,500 they needed for his treatment, he ended up dying with 65% of his body covered in burns.
Saleem Khan, Kamran’s brother stated how his family had been struggling to get by even with Kamran’s school fees waived. The family’s financial situation was so bad that Kamran used to wander the streets in his hometown looking for bits of metal scrap and other items to sell as a way of making extra money for the family.
Their father even borrowed money from relatives to buy a work visa to Saudi Arabia four months ago to see if he could make some extra money but still has not managed to find a job there.
It’s really sad to say that this family’s story is just one out of many that happens across the world: families struggling, barely making ends meet hoping that education would be the solution to their problems. Rather unfortunate that this family’s story had to end so tragically.