Zahra Abbas (her FB) is 27 years old girl, born with deformity from all four limbs but, she didn’t let her deformity to rule her life. She is a living example of breaking barriers.
Disability need not be an obstacle to success
She started her education writing with the elbow and, passed her matriculation from Lahore Lyceum and received a Gold Medal as a special price from CM Punjab Mr. Shahbaz Sharif.
She then completed her MBA Hons from Punjab collage’s IBA department and now is an integral part of management, development, and consulting organization. She is leading her life and working in all circumstances with courage and motivation.
“The biggest challenge was for my parents because they had to take me to the society where there was a rejection, where there is a lack of facilities, where there are more problems for girls”.Zahra Abbas
She believes that God never make mistakes, if he made her like this then he must be having some plans for her.
She has started motivational speaking in cooperate sectors and among the youth.
“It’s not the disability that defines you; it’s how you deal with the challenges the disability presents you with. We have an obligation to the abilities we do have not the disability.”Jim Abbot
I don’t even know how it feels like to walk but as a parent it is tough. They have to take me amongst other normal children, they have to bring me up, educate me and the most importantly, make me survive in a society where the is too much rejection, where there is lack of facilities, where girls face more problems.
Reminiscing her life journey, She recalls all the challenges she has had to face, but she fought like a worrier. Her battles probably began way earlier but starting from the time she had to enroll in the school, she could remember them all very clearly.
“When I had to be enrolled in a school many schools were reluctant to give me admission as they had fear of giving me special treatment. With great difficulty, I finally got admission, and started my journey of writing with an elbow and trying to complete all my exams and assignments within a given time as I was not being treated any differently.”
However, her struggles did not end her education. As she decided to move on further and search for a job, life threw at her greater obstacles. “There are so many companies which talk about diversification but when they come down to interviewing you their question gets downright humiliating. Interviews question you in a way that indirectly hints at you also have some kind of mental disability.
Travelling is still biggest constraint of Zahra Abbas. None of our local transport is designed in a way in which she can travel alone .
“We must have some such transport. For every little movement, I need to call someone from my home and ask them to take me to the next place. She said, adding that even the newly launched metro bus by the Punjab government. This facility has come as no relief for the disabled as they only provide wheelchairs at the exit and entrance stops pf the bus.”
“The biggest problem in our society is that we do not seem to realize that everyone has the right to education. We have no special arrangement for the people we call special in our society for them to achieve their dreams or at least, be able to do things normal people do,”
“For me, it is an ongoing journey. Even if I become the President of the country I will still have to be worried about how I have to wake up, sleep, go to the washroom. How I have to write, sit in the car. I will still be scared every time I see the stairs thinking that I have to cross these one more time.”
How hard has it been for her on a personal level to deal with all the insensitive comments of people around her though?
Zahra has started motivational speaking in the cooperate sector and amongst the youth. She wishes to go to every girl’s school of Pakistan as a motivational speaker aiming to transform their lives through it. But to be able to achieve her goals on such a large scale she wants more and more people or the government to help her.
Source of inspiration
Zahra believes that there is nothing in life one cannot do if they really commit themselves to it. The first thing is basic education. One should be focused. You should know what you want. Whether you want to be a positive impact on society or just suffer your entire life. If there is something we really want to achieve in our lives we need to set our target clear.
Zara is a live example for those women who think that they don’t have opportunities or they cannot do anything. Those who intend to do something, they make it through thick and thin. If you are determined to do something, you can create opportunities