Sumaira, belonging to a low-income family, is a 27-year-old girl with special needs. She lives in Multan with her husband. Like the majority of families in the community her husband manages the finances but the contribution is limited given the low income of menial labour. With only one earning member of a family comprising entirely of females the financial situation renders them in dire poverty.
Sumaira was educated till middle-school but later dropped out partly due to financial problems and partly because she was discouraged from everyday movements as there was no facility for her to travel to and from school.
SPARC’s social mobilizers conducted a community awareness raising session in her neighborhood which she attended and found interesting, particularly the opportunities for vocational training being offered close to her home. After consulting her husband and not letting her disability be an obstacle in the way of learning new skills she enrolled in the SPARC’s Beautician Courses offered at the Vocational Training Centers.
In addition to learning a potentially marketable skill she also availed the opportunity fully by learning about basic life-skills which among other things, taught her that disability is only debilitating if you perceive it as such. In the face of her perceived adversity which prevented her from attaining education 10 years ago she is grateful for the second chance at making a different life for herself and her family.
After struggling with being treated differently and suffering emotionally she has come to terms with her disability and now aims to open up her own beauty parlour to contribute to the family income.