I was only 18 years old when I represented Pakistan as a torch bearer at the Special Olympics World Games in Athens in 2011. Achieving this was not an easy task at all. When I was growing up there were not many mainstream schools that accepted people with Down Syndrome. My parents were determined to go an extra mile for me through early intervention programs. I was eventually successful in completing my Matric from a mainstream school. When my siblings started college, I felt left out. I questioned my parents “What about me? What about my future?” I had ambitions too.
Thankfully, my family always found ways to empower me. If I was out shopping with my parents for groceries, they would stop the car and I would step out to make the purchase, independently. Moreover, my sister has been an integral part of my life. She helped me study and has been my best friend. I was a little sad when she got married. I miss her immensely, but I consider myself lucky to have a brother-in-law who accepted me. I love spending my time with them.
As I grew up, swimming and cycling became my passion. Participating in World Games in the United States and Greece really changed my life for the better. After returning, I felt the need to do more. Soon, I started working at Special Olympics Pakistan so I could help other children with special needs achieve their dreams. I have recently started volunteering at KDSP’s weekly arts and crafts classes as well. For many, I am a role model and an inspiration. I feel happy when people appreciate my achievements and abilities. I am now known as Fara