Saima Saleem is Pakistan’s first blind civil servant. She is working at Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and has been referred to as the “Helen Keller of Pakistan”.
Saima has an M. Phil in English Literature and attained 6th position in Pakistan and first amongst women in the CSS exam. She has been an outstanding student since her childhood. She achieved a gold medal at the Bachelor and Master level. She stood for her rights and for the first time in Pakistan exams were conducted in Braille. She did not want to take the help of a writer and wanted to do her exam herself as she strongly believed in her own capabilities. Saima uses Screen-Reader software (JAWS) so that she can work on her own on the computer and software so that she can scan books and other material. She chose Foreign Service for which the Federal Public Services Commission did not allow disabled candidates to apply for. She took the matter to the government and the Prime Minister let her join the Foreign Service. She got a gold medal for topping all trainings and exams and also received a scholarship at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, USA. She has been working since then to improve human rights issues.
It is these passionate personalities who give us hope and the courage to dream. One needs to keep on trying to achieve their goals irrespective of their color, gender, creed and weaknesses. You should not let your shortcomings decide what you want to do, you should take charge of your life and plan your own destiny.
Pakistan has numerous such personalities and we can go on with their names and achievements. What is common amongst these people is their passion which makes them so strong that they can go any lengths to fulfill their dreams. They do not fear obstacles; in fact they remove them from their way. It is very easy for most of us to say, “this is not possible, who will help me, I can’t do this.” But heroes like these do not let anything cripple their desire to do the impossible. After all the word impossible itself says, “I M Possible!”