KARACHI: For the two visually-challenged students, who bagged the first and second positions in the Karachi University’s Masters in Urdu exams, the day of recognition finally arrived on Wednesday.
Following the news story published in The Express Tribune on June 12, Sindh special education minister, Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh, personally called both the position-holders, Shahid Ansari and Ameenat Afsar, to congratulate them. “Not only that but they have also been offered jobs in the special education department in acknowledgement of their great achievements,” Shaikh told The Express Tribune.
“This is unbelievable! We were not expecting such a quick response,” said Ansari, grinning cheek-to-cheek, as he tried to articulate his feelings. “It was like having a dream come true- from being a person with a disability, I’ve been recognised as a person with special ability.”
He offered his gratitude to Shaikh and department officials for this gesture, saying it will go a long way in encouraging those with disabilities as they struggle to find an equal place in society.
Afsar’s excitement matched Ansari’s on having the opportunity to talk with the special education minister. “I think for people of his stature to call us and congratulate us on our achievement, is itself an accomplishment,” said Afsar who scored the second position. “And the job offer really made me feel proud!”
One step closer
Earlier on Wednesday morning, the special education deputy secretary, Aftab Ahmed Shaikh, called both the position holders. “He was astonished when I informed him that Afsar and myself had secured the first and second positions in an open competition, amid hundreds of normal students,” said Ansari, adding that the deputy secretary said that they deserve special recognition.
Shortly afterwards, both were in conversation with Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh and discussing their plans of how they both want to serve the country in the field of education. Upon hearing that, Shaikh promised them jobs in the department while directing his staff to contact them for details.
“Our aim in life is to accomplish something substantial,” said Afsar. “If we succeed in building our future, then all those difficulties and hurdles presented before us by the society will have paid off.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2012.
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