A positive outlook is mandatory for overcoming challenges and Rana Abdul Rehman is living proof of it. A school dropout, now 35, he lost his leg playing cricket. Things worsened later in life when he sustained bullet wounds while resisting a robbery, but he went on to become an educationist and has no regrets.
“I didn’t tell my parents about the knee injury because they would stop me from playing. I played cricket with until I ultimately lost movement of my left leg. It was too late to treat the injury and there was no option but to amputate it,” he said admitting his cricket craze.
After the injury, he had stopped studying but with the support of his parents and friends, he re-started his education and completed his FSc in 1995. He then decided to start a school in partnership with a friend. “Since 1996, thousands of needy children from the twin cities have been supported under the umbrella of our small association,” he told The Express Tribune.
As head of the family in his father’s absence who was abroad, he had to look after his siblings. “I had a manual car and I used my crutches to press the clutch,” he said. “It’s a miracle I never had an accident.”
He played cricket with friends till graduation, “Despite my disability, my friends preferred to keep me in the team as I was a power hitter, who could score more runs for the team,” he said nostalgically. Continuing his studies alongside social work, he graduated in 1999, and went on to get two master’s degrees, one in Computer Sciences in 2002 and 10 years later, the other in Political Science in 2012.
In 2007, he received bullet injuries to his right leg and abdomen while resisting robbers on Kuri Road, Rawalpindi. This, to quite an extent, restricted his movement.
Abdul Rehman established his own school in 2009, where about 10 to 20 students are given free education every year. “My son is studying with students who are getting free-of-cost education and this is a step towards ending discrimination,” he said.
He is an executive member of All Pakistan Private Schools’ Association and runs Promotive Association for Children, a not-for-profit organisation for academic achievers with more than 150 private schools as members. He believes that moral support helps children get ahead in life.
Abdul Rehman dreams of establishing a chain of schools for deserving children and he is confident that one day someone will come forward to help make his dream a reality.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2013.
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