Yawar Abbas was just a name for me. I interacted with this young man over email and on Facebook. Student of Iqra University in Islamabad, Yawar was introduced to me through Kashif Khan, his teacher at Iqra and representative of Global Entrepreneurship Week in Pakistan. Yawar was coordinating work on organizing Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2012.
GEW was a great success, I met with Kashif sahib and appreciated Yawar’s work. Kashif recognized Yawar as one of his brightest students and told me that Yawar is physically challenged. His both arms were amputated when he was very young.
I wanted to meet him.
Only last week I met him, and what a great opportunity for me it was! He arrived a little early while I was in another meeting. So I requested him to wait in the hotel lobby. When I saw him in few minutes, he was busy on his Tablet PC. He is not physically challenged at all. He drive, uses his cellphone and does everything like a fully functional person – Young and dashing, full of life and energy!
He told me that he ignores people who stare at him as they do not exist. His ambition is to be different. He wanted to pick my brain on few ideas for his career. Now that he has completed his BBA in Human Resource, he wants to start his work career. “Sir, I do not need sympathizers, some sympathizers are mentally challenged – I need to prove that there are career opportunities for physically challenged people.”
So what could be something exciting and unique for Yawar to venture into?
I shared with him the idea about writing a research paper on the type of jobs available for physically challenged people in private sector and offered my help in developing the research framework. Since there is not much work done in this area in Pakistan, identifying companies that have designated jobs for physically challenged people and the type of skills required prior to applying for these jobs may help the community.
Another idea was to create an online community of such people in Pakistan and help them in their career development.
Yawar is enthusiastic about this research project. I hope private sector companies will be able to give him support to take this initiative forward.