When 16-year-old Arwa Imtiyaz misses school, her parents and teachers don’t have the heart to yell at her. Because the only reason she misses school is when she is travelling with a group of 250 speech and hearing-impaired sportspersons registered with the Jammu and Kashmir sports association.
Arwa was born and brought up in a Kashmiri family in which four members were speech and hearing-impaired. So, growing up she had always been sensitive to their needs because she witnessed first-hand their struggles to communicate with people around them.
Today, this class 10 student is helping 250 Kashmiri sportspersons overcome these communication barriers by becoming their translator.
Speaking to NDTV, Arwa says, “They faced problems whenever they wanted to communicate with somebody. I saw that nobody was helping them. So I have made it a mission to be with them and help them all through my life,” she says.
Arwa first began travelling across the state with the sportspersons when she was in Class 5. This meant she wouldn’t often miss classes. But her family is supportive of their daughter’s vision because they know the work she is doing is nothing short of selfless.
She belongs to an underprivileged family. Her father, an autoricksaw driver, can hardly afford to pay her tuition fees. But nonetheless Imitiaz Ahmad praises his daughter’s work saying, “She has to miss school sometimes to accompany them to stadium and other places. She faced many difficulties but didn’t stop. We gave her all help. The work she is doing is really pious.”
Arwa aspires to become a doctor when she grows up – but her weak financial background blurs her dream at times.
“My aim is to become a doctor but my father can’t pay my tuition fees. It’s now up to God. Maybe, I will be a doctor one day with the help of their prayers,” a hopeful Arwa told NDTV.
Feature Image in-set credit: NDTV.