Big ambitions of a young mind
By Rooshanie Ejaz, HRS
Aarifa Karim Randhawa, now 16 years of age is a child prodigy. She hails from the industrial city of Faisalabad in Pakistan. For a country that has failed to deliver equal opportunity and most other rights to its women since it was created, Aarifa’s success is truly an inspiration. That is not to disregard the achievement of many Pakistani women, who have proven to be world class athletes, actors, doctors, artists, film makers and the list goes on. The issue is that away from the urban centers, women are still not empowered to make decisions regarding any aspect of their lives, including child birth, economy, marriage and even education.
That Aarifa comes from a low profile family in Faisalabad, is the daughter of a retired army officer and has managed to follow her heart and fulfill her dreams at such a young age are true anomalies in a society so riddled with issues regarding the independence of women. In 2004 she was awarded the title of the world’s youngest Certified Microsoft Professional at the tender age of nine. She has since won many other awards, gotten media attention all over the country, even managed flying an aircraft at the age of ten.
Sadly, now 16, Aarifa is currently in a medical facility fighting for her life after a deadly epileptic attack left her on life support. With such a bright future ahead of her, and with the power to inspire millions of Pakistani women to stand up and take charge of their lives and futures, here’s hoping the bright young mind fights through this monumental ordeal and joins us in changing the future for the women of Pakistan.
You can find out more about Aarifa’s story here