Lozina Shoaib

She is in her 30s with exceptional skills and hope. But life challenged her so much that she had to grow up fighting. DART has a chance to offer you her story of unusual defiance that boosted her into a role model  that suffers more than accomplishing but still stays a gratified soul. She generates hope for all in the society that self realization is possible if one is prepared to accept life with all its imperfections.

 


This story is better told without the aroma of sympathy, as she already has a lot of it from the society. She was declared medically unfit to survive in her childhood. But even the physical and social odds could not stop her. Nature was harsh on her in many ways but still gifted her with extraordinarily caring parents, who decided they should not have more babies. She was put to school with normal children as the parents recognised the virtues of inclusive education. They hoped she would transcend the segregation pangs at primary and secondary education phase, she undertook at the Station No. 2 School, Rawalpindi. 

 

All these years the parents remained in constant touch with her teachers and schoolmates and observed their child’s conduct religiously. She could not walk or play like normal children. This eventually prevented her socialization with the schoolmates. Hurt and alarmed, her mother refocused even more intensely on Lozina Shoaib’s social growth. She improvised a new plan and started inviting Lozina’s little fellows to her home, where she extensively interacted with them in extracurricular manners. Now Lozina was at relative ease but not free of all the trauma of isolation.  During the break time in school she still nursed an acute sense of dispossession. To help her over come the protected ordeals, the parents had sessions with her, telling her a lot of roll-model stories. Eventually, she herself became a story teller as schoolmates swarmed her in the break time fondly listening to these stories.

 

Infused with energies of the early youth she obtained bachelor’s degree from the C.B Cantt. College, Rawalpindi and later on she did her Masters in Computer Sciences from Muhammad Ali Jinah University, Islamabad in 2001. Climbing up the academic ladder, Lozina did her master’s degree project on “Database”. She then did her Master of Sciences (pre-PhD) in 2008 from Muhammad Ali Jinah University, Islamabad. This achievement enabled her to undertake a unique research through a thesis combining two major sciences s i.e. Computer Science & Human Psychology. The topic was “Influence of Human Psychology on Exploratory Testing”. As she went through with it, she became a visiting lecturer for a year just after finishing her masters in the same institution.

 

She still suffers from Multiple Congenital Contractures (MCC), Osteoporosis, Rheumatic Arthritis and Cardiac problems. She has undergone 20 major surgeries including spinal fusion as of today and seven more are planned (involving Hip and Knee Joints replacements), which are not possible in Pakistan.

 

Despite all odds, she is doing PhD in Information Technology from National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Islamabad. The research area is “Human Computer Interaction (HCI)”. Simultaneously, she has been appointed as Assistant Director in Ministry of Social Welfare and Special Education. It was the career of her choice. She wants to use her abilities for the betterment of disabled community. She has been recognized through National Youth Talent Award 2008, given by the Prime Minister of Pakistan on 12 Aug 2008, on International Youth Day.

 

Apart from all her problems and commitments, she regularly gives motivational lectures to students in schools, colleges and universities. She is creating awareness about inclusive lifestyle in general public through media talk shows and interviews to induce self confidence in people with disability. She promotes concept of inclusive education system where disabled and the normal lead their lives together without feeling aliens. During an interview with DART, Lozina expressed satisfaction with her life and physical disability as she could have achievements, but in her own way. While answering a question about social treatment of disabled in Pakistan, Lozina said our society has a sympathetic way of behaving with them. Our people are noticeably caring and loving and always try to give them respect and special treatment.