By Shehzad Khan
PESHAWAR: To become a success story, one needs not just ability, but mental strength and a spot of single-mindedness, to boot. In that respect, signs are promising for a teenage girl from Swat who has been trying to carve out her own niche in the field of Information Technology despite limited financial means.
Faiz Abad’s Tahira Muhammad aspires to become a software engineer and earn a name both for her family and the country. However, she fears lack of resources and proper guidelines would thwart her ambitions.
Tahira told The Express Tribune about the miseries her widowed mother and she have been facing. Tahira’s father died soon after her birth, forcing her mother to work as a domestic help to make both ends meet.
“My mother would work all the day at houses of well-off families to earn a living,” Tahira said.
To a question about how she develops the desire to become a software engineer and her passion for laptops and other gadgets, Tahira said: “Besides watching my mother work at different houses, I used to also throw a glance full of curiosity at television sets, computers, laptops and other devices present there.
“I was good in my studies, so I would watch all electric appliances and wonder how they worked,” she recalled, adding her mother despite cash crunch afforded her a one-year diploma course in Information Technology after she passed her Matric exams.
“Earlier, my mother wanted me to take admission in the medical faculty and become a doctor, but owing to my passion to become an IT expert my mother has now changed her mind.”
Referring to her work in the IT sector at an early age, Tahira said she developed a software for a local government body for issuing birth certificates. Besides, she also developed a software for a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to store data of women who were a victim of domestic violence.
She said at present she had been developing a computer game inspired by the idea of girls education and added that she wanted to promote the cause of women education in the socially-marginalised areas in Swat.
Highlighting financial miseries and health problems of her poor mother, she said,”My mother is now ill and unable to do work in order to earn money and make ends meet. To carry on my studies and financially support my mother, I teach at a private school and get a meager salary.”
“My salary stands at a meagre four thousand rupees a month, but I am committed to doing hardwork, getting a degree in IT and fulfilling my dream of becoming a software engineer.”