By Dr Muhammad Kamran from Netherlands
Ms Mumtaz Jamal was born as a normal child in a remote of area of Orakzai Agency in tribal region of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. At the age of one year she got infected by the polio virus which made the lower part of her body completely paralyzed. Her backbone was also affected by the fatal disease. As a result, her life was restricted to a wheelchair.
As a very realistic child, she accepted her physical limitations and decided to live with it but her aim in life was to get independent in terms of mobility, finance and decision making. She had to fight against many prejudices, discriminations, and injustice at each step of her life.
Having such great aims, she had to attend not only inaccessible schools, colleges, and university but at the same time, she had to convince her teachers, (most of whom thought that she cannot study) about her intellectual skills. On top of that, she got homeless and she had to live on her own and had to arrange finance for her study. She started selling calling cards in her hostel to earn money for her studies.
She stood firm, believed in herself and was not only able to earn money for herself but she also encouraged and supported her younger siblings to continue their education. She ended up at Leiden University in Netherlands and got her MSc first and then finally PhD in clinical psychology in 2014.
She is a researcher at the same university now. She believes that physical limitations cannot stop you to achieve your dreams and goals. Mental strength, willpower, strong decision making, and self-confidence are the key factors behind any success. You can do whatever you can think.