Mingora: Octogenarian people are mostly left dependent upon their families for physical activities [due to health vulnerability and age factor] but that is not the case with 82-year-old Abdul Qayyum, a resident of Kabal area of Swat, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Qayyum not only rides to hospital on his bi-cycle in case of any illness, but doesn’t take anyone’s help to achieve his day-to-day tasks. He says he enjoys riding bi-cycle even in this age.
According to him, he had bought his first bi-cycle in 1952 while he was in class seventh. The man with special characteristics has made rides from Swat to Karachi on bi-cycle so far.
“Riding bi-cycle is my first love,” Qayyum said with a loud laugh.
Due to his healthy lifestyle and eco-friendly passion of riding bi-cycle, Qayyum not only hold aspirations for millions in Pakistan but people around the world.
The residents of Kabal and surrounding areas call Qayyum as ‘brand ambassador” of Pakistan for tourism and climate change.
Arif Khan, a local resident, said Qayyum’s lifestyle promotes adventure tourism in the country, but contributes positively in environment friendly tourism. The extraordinary man by adopting this healthy lifestyle is also contributing his share in the reduction of global warming, Ahmed added.
While talking to the Reporters, Qayyum said “taking ride on bi-cycle is my passion”. Initially, he said that he was used to ride to school only but later he made bi-cycle his main mode of transport to travel anywhere. He says, “Since my childhood, I am a passionate traveler and it was my passion which motivated me to purchase my first by-cycle in 1952.”
Since then, he has travelled thousands of miles on bi-cycle. He has made visits to far-flung areas of the region on his bi-cycle.
The extra-ordinary person said he has three by-cycles now. “I have three bi-cycles, but I truly love the one that I bought for the first time,” Qayyum said.
“After completing secondary education, I went to Karachi for higher education where I studied up to master degree in Geography,” Qayyum recalled his old days in Karachi.
After returning, he tried to secure a government job, but after failing, he established a private school, Qayyum maintained. However, side-by-side his career, he started pursuing his passion with enthusiasm.
Recalling one of his landmark visits to Karachi on bi-cycle, Qayyum said that he had made his last visit to Karachi in 2018 while he was in his 80s. “My entire journey from Swat to Karachi took 18 days and it casted me Rs25,000,” Qayyum recalled.
It is pertinent to mention here that Qayyum is used to ride to different parts of KP on his bi-cycle. People in Swat, particularly children, make fun of my cycle riding, I often hear children saying see this man riding bi-cycle in his old age.
Besides, the man said that he had suffered a lot during his ride to different parts of Pakistan, adding that “on one occasion, I still remember I was bitten by a dog on foot and remained hospitalized for many days”.
Qayuum’s interest is not limited to bi-cycle riding as he has authored four-books. Two of his authored books are in Pashto and one each in Urdu and English.
Qayuum has a wide-circle of friends belonging to all walks of life in Swat.
People in Swat have demanded the government to announce Qayuum as ‘brand ambassador’ to create awareness regarding tourism and climate change.