Zymal Umer aged ten years being called ‘Pakistan’s youngest social entrepreneur’ by many people expressed her utter disappointment at the pile of rubbish dumped on the outskirts of her residing hometown Sargodha, Punjab. She said if people just give it a small thought before dumping their wastes like this on roads they will no more do it as it pollutes our living environment.
There is a variety of waste products piled from colorful plastic bags to metals and general waste. This rubbish pile is then set to fire which results in making an unpleasant and toxic smell.
As per the environmental department of Pakistan annually 20 million tons of solid waste is being generated and the figure is ever rising by 2.4 percent per year.
Zymal further added that the plastic bags are not biodegradable and people just throw them away carelessly. People do not really bother to think about recycling the waste stuff.
Proper arrangement for solid waste management is never witnessed in the country. Just half of the produced rubbish is collected by the government. Landfill sites are severely lacking which is causing the issue of random dumping and burning the waste (which is also the most commonly practiced waste disposal method prevalent in the country). The uncollected waste has the potential of being hazardous and causing serious health issues.
Zymal’s offered solution is of Zeebags instead of colorful plastic shoppers. The ten ages young school girl makes vibrant and lovely gift bags from old newspapers and sell them to family and friends and distributes the major chunk of profits to the local charities.
In just a span of 3 years, she has raised her bag production from few to hundreds and her approximate incurred income is four to five thousand dollars. When asked she said she learnt the art of bag making by watching videos on YouTube. She also said managing Zeebags with school homework is tough so she mostly works on weekends or during holidays with her cousins.
SOS Children’s Villages is one of the charities receiving her donations. This charity is for orphans and destitute children across Pakistan.
Zymal said that via her earnings she has been able to support by providing the charity house with washing machines, daily usage items, water coolers, and batteries. The kid expressed that she feels satisfied and motivated upon seeing the happy faces of children residing in orphanages.
Her creative and charitable business has attracted the attention of media who have labeled her the country’s “youngest social entrepreneur”.
Zeebags is an award-winning international fame business. It has acquired both awards locally and internationally from Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Zymal’s aim is to expand her business both nationally and internationally and to become a businesswoman in future.
Pakistan is registering to its environmental issues by making laws, developing agencies and via taking technical assistance both from local and international donors. But the response rate is slow and not a priority as there are other pressing issues of the nation like security and politics.
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This scenario urges Zymal to do things urgently so that she may be able to change the way people think and she hopes she could make people realize that there is serious need to take care of the environment. It is vital that future generations may get a clean and healthy world to live in. She added that she wants to do all this so that she could say she did her part, but its others responsibility too to do something for themselves and for the greater good.