Ruhma Salah Ud Din, Lahore

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Sitting in my room, I became quite restless upon hearing my parents discuss the financial crisis our family was in, on a morning in early October. When I saw my mother trying to fill in the gaps with love and my father struggling to provide us with a quality life, I had a flashback to when I was eight and had to leave Beaconhouse School System because my father was not financially stable. In 2012, while climbing up the stairs to help my sister find her clothes, I fell down the stairs. Ignoring the pain completely, I stood up and climbed again. Two months after this incident, I fell down on a pointed stone while playing volleyball. I paid no attention to the pain this time as well. However, one day I was unable to get off the bed, and found my leg had become twice its original size. I started crying. My parents rushed me to the hospital and it was discovered that my knee fluid bag had torn. An operation was suggested, but my parents did not agree upon this major operation of bone replacement and tried to find an alternative. We found some medicines that worked, and time went well until the problems reappeared after a year and a half. My hurting spine managed to stop me from doing a lot of my favorite stuff.

After completing my O levels, I took a gap year because of financial and health issues. However, my family’s problems forced me to spring off the sofa, iron my clothes, wear my lucky necklace with Ayat-al-Kursi engraved on it, and call my school auto driver. I went to The City School for a teacher assistant job. Upon reaching the school, I asked to meet the principal. I was taken for a demo because one of their Mathematics teachers was taking a 2 month holiday. I passed. The principal flicked through my resume, and I was asked for my ID card after everything was finalized. Upon knowing that I was just 15, everyone was dumbfounded considering my teaching skills. Unfortunately, the rules ultimately prohibited me from getting accepted.

Holding my O level degree with several academic achievements and teacher quotes, I came back home and told everything to my mother. She consoled me. However, I was not willing to sit back and relax. The fire of doing something and supporting my family was igniting inside my heart.

As an example of ‘Human helps Human’, one of my most regarded teachers, Sir Waqas Suleman, gave me a chance at an A level education that was funded. Not only this, he also provided me an opportunity to teach O Level English and Pakistan Studies to a student. This was merely the start of my earning journey.

As soon as my earning journey started, I initiated my MUN journey. A thousand hurdles barred my way. I had to make my place in a male dominated society, I had to stay away from home for several days, and I had to deal with a very busy routine. My father was not willing at first, but it was his love and trust that allowed me to carry my debating and public speaking skills forward and ignore all the society pressures.
Not only this, I also initiated my very own gift basket service “THEME CESTAS” with the help of my mother. Within an extremely short time span of 3 months, it became a well-known company, both in Pakistan and around the globe.

Along with this, I carried forward my writing passion and started composing stories for online children magazines. Product writing, blogging and project bidding also became an important part of my life. I wrote many life lesson articles and published them online.

My friends and I wanted to do something to share our happiness and celebrations with other children. We collected donations and gifted Eid boxes to less privileged children. I am also the first ambassador of Roshan Pakistan, and also a member of the executive council. The best part about this has been that it helped me organize my life, and did not affect my studies.

I want to become a doctor and get my very own clinic in America and open my own NGO .

I would like to say that Life is a coin. It works only if both sides are printed. One side is comedy, and the other is tragedy. Instead of taking tragedies with a heavy heart, we should consider them an opportunity to do something productive. I believe that Allah helps those who help themselves.

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