On a typical summer day, Malik Muhammad Nadir, a resident of Killi Sultan Shah, could be seen shuffling through the desert in scorching heat to nearby villages carrying a tin storage box. The storage box mostly contained neatly stacked household items, such as rice, pulses and confectionaries for children, which he sold to village locals at a meager cost. For many years, Muhammad Nadir took the same route each day, scrambling from one village to another selling these household items to locals to serve their everyday needs.
Soon after, however, walking under the sun for long hours began to take its toll on Nadir’s health. As the workload began to increase, he was forced to pull his son out of school to help him with his trade. “It was becoming increasingly difficult for me to make ends meet. I had no choice but to pull my son out of school so that he could help me sell these items,” said Malik Muhammad Nadir.
Deprivation and abject poverty had become a way of life for most people living in Killi Sultan Shah, a remote village located on the outskirts of Noshki district — home to no more than a few hundred local residents.
The only shop in close proximity was located in Noshki district, some twenty kilometers away from the village, however, lack of roads in the area severely restricted travel to nearby towns.
“Every 10-15 days when someone would travel to Noshki, the village locals would rely on them to bring basic provisions on their way back as many of the basic amenities were not available in the village,” said Malik Muhammad Nadir.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported a shop in village Killi Sultan Shah where basic household items such as flour, sugar, spices and pulses are regularly stocked.
"Now that I have a shop, people do not have to go all the way to Noshki to get basic daily amenities, they can find everything they need closer to home," said Malik Muhammad Nadir. “Things are much easier now. I can send my son to school and we make a much higher profit from our sales,” he added happily.