By: Fawad Ali
RAWALPINDI: She has lived the 18 years of her life as a member of a marginalised community, with life offering her very few opportunities. Yet, this ambitious girl does not believe in giving up. A student of F.Sc final year at Government Degree College Jhanda Chichi, Megha Arora defied barriers and social constraints, and excelled in the recent Punjab Youth Festival by bagging the second position in the province in the essay writing competition.
This young woman secured the top position at the district level in the essay writing competition but was not awarded commendatory certificates and cash prizes, even after the provincial government had approved it. As a Pakistani citizen, Megha demands that the government give equal opportunities to students of her community who can become contributing members of society. “I pray to God to bring peace and prosperity to the country,” she said.
Her parents are proud of Megha. “People pray to God for a male child, but I’ve never desired this. My daughters are better than sons and I am proud of them,” said Jag Mohan Arora, father of Megha. Her mother’s support has been a huge motivation for her. Kavita Arora, Megha’s mother, says they never made her feel short of anything. “It is our desire to see her become a responsible citizen and work for its development.”
Her heart is in issues related to the country’s development which is evident from the topics she has written on for award-winning essays. At the regional level, she wrote about dilemma of water and energy in Pakistan. “Water and energy crises have serious ramifications on our country’s economy. This needs to be resolved,” she said. At the provincial level, her essay was about the role of media as social watchdog. Megha feels that the media can play a far greater role in highlighting social deprivation, discrimination and can help keep a check on those in power. However, Megha feels that it is not playing its due role in highlighting social problems, particularly those concerning minority communities. For writing essays she discusses issues with parents and her elder sister Varsha Arora, an M.phil student of Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi.
Megha doesn’t consider herself a genius at all, and works hard to understand things. “I don’t believe in cramming.”
She says she is lucky, and unlike some of her friends she never felt uneasy among her Muslim colleagues who always treated her equally. “I am fortunate. Many students from our community either quit or could not excel due to lack of opportunities or anti-Hindu sentiments,” she said.
Provincial Secretary Education Abdul Jabbar Shaheen and Commissioner Rawalpindi Zahid Saeed could not be reached for comments about Megha’s pending awards, despite repeated attempts. However, Director Colleges Hamayun Iqbal said a ceremony will be held soon where Megha will be awarded her cash prize and commendatory certificates. He said he will also forward her case to the Punjab Chief Minister for a scholarship.