I am a sister to a 25-year- old girl who was born intellectually challenged. On 4 th November 1992, this revelation shattered the family. Plunged deep in denial, we went for tests that confirmed our fears: Farah had Down Syndrome.
Our whole world was turned upside down as we were unable to speak from shock. We avoided meeting
people, missed birthdays and family events, stopped hanging out at restaurants and skipped conversations
because of the sympathy filled words and glares that did not help. We lost hope quite early and that is where
Farah, special for a reason, proved us wrong and fought with all possible stereotypes.
Being ridiculed gave us strength, but the stares did not discourage her either! For me, one of the greatest
lessons in life are taught by my very own sister, that it is really liberating when you stop thinking about what
others think about you and continue making a difference in your life by growing each day. Farah was an
amazing child – a God sent.
She has made me a more compassionate person. She has changed my outlook towards life that it is not a rat
race, it is not a competition. We live in such an artificial world that we forget about the beauty of simple
Our goal was to make her independent. And look how she has surprised us!
After getting her education from a mainstream school, Farah started teaching there as an assistant teacher and left the place after two years of having served kids like her compassionately. She has been the Torch bearer during world games 2011 in Athens among 185 countries and represented Asia Pacific out of only 4 athletes!
Pakistan’s swimming champion, Farah participated in world games 2011, Athens and World games 2015, Los
Angeles and both the times bought laurels for Pakistan! Now working at Special Olympics, Pakistan, Farah has been honoured by our ex-Prime Minister, Mr. Yousuf Raza Gillani, after returning from world games, 2011, Athens. She has also been honoured by PresidentMamnoon Hussain after returning from World Games, LA, 2015.
From what seemed like a tiresome and difficult journey at first now makes us look back and say that we have
been blessed with the best. The world who used to pass sympathetic and ridiculing glances, now looks up to
her as an inspiration and a role model. At her 25th Birthday this year, I am writing my heart out to show that care, kindness and support that we extended made her a champion not only for herself but for many like her who are afraid of taking the first step.
This story is submitted by Fizza Vohra