Thousands of Arfa Karim waiting to be discovered
Arfa Karim passed away at a tender age of 16 in Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Lahore. She was the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in the world. Arfa was hospitalized last month as her health deteriorated due to seizures. Doctor said she had a brain damage and which had lead her to coma. The brain damage was caused by idiopathic epilepsy seizures. According to medical experts various infectious and non-infectious diseases can cause epilepsy. But the idiopathic epilepsy, that Arfa was suffering, has no primary disease of the brain or body can be identified in the early stage to start treatment. Bill Gate also tried to help by setting up an international doctor’s panel to be in touch with Pakistani doctors to assist them and shift her to US if possible. But she didn’t survived.
Arfa Karim was the child prodigy who becomes the youngest “Microsoft Certified Professional” after successfully completing her MCP certification at the age of only 9 in 2004. She was invited by Bill Gates to visit the Microsoft headquarters in US. Arfa was currently studying in Lahore Grammar School`s Paragon Campus for her A Levels. Her achievement was not only acknowledged by Microsoft but she also received various awards and gold medals from several private and government institutions.
There are many Arfa Karim out there who are waiting to be discovered. Pakistan allocates a minute amount of its GDP to health and education. And this minute amount is consumed by inefficient and corrupt system. There is dire need to build health and education infrastructure in Pakistan. The best education institutes are mostly private universities that charge exuberant amount of fees that is simply not affordable by major middleclass and lower middleclass Pakistanis. In other words, the successive governments have taken away right of education from the majority of Pakistanis. Similarly, we allocate hundred times more money to defense than health. If you have ever visited government run hospitals, you know what we mean. Shahbaz Sharif has named Lahore Science Park after her as The Arfa Software Technology Park. Wouldn’t be better if he had announced the increase in education and health budget instead of naming a damn park. We many lost one Arfa Karim, but there are thousands of Arfa waiting to be discovered and nurtured. Arfa RIP.
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