PESHAWAR: Imad Yousafzai, a young visually impaired person from Batkhela in Malakand district, has shown his determination to spread light of his vision to highlight social issues despite his by birth disability to see and claims to be the first journalist in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa among his special persons community.
He has recently received widespread public attention for his YouTube channel ‘Rokhana Diva’ on which he shares success stories of special persons along with shows on current social, cultural and literary issues.
Defying his visual impairment, he received his primary education from a local school for special persons and then switched over to a government school and qualified matriculation and even did his Masters in mass communication and political science in quick succession with flying colours.
In an informal chat with this scribe, Imad Yousafzai said that he had never been depended on others and wanted to contribute to society through his inborn talent. He added that although he was deprived of physical vision yet Almighty Allah endowed him with inward vision.
Imad Yousafzai has received attention for launching YouTube channel
Presently, Mr Yousafzai is doing MPhil in political science and also serves as a correspondent for a local English newspaper as he had done several computer courses from Karachi five years ago.
He is quite able to file stories, features and in-depth follow ups on any given assignment.
“I want to become a real voice of the special persons because 95 per cent of them come from poor families and most parents have neither awareness nor resources to have an access to education and healthcare facilities,” he said.
He said that a large number of parents sent their physically challenged children, especially visually impaired, to religious seminaries where taking care of such children became a great challenge for teachers.
Mr Yousafzai delivers occasional lectures on various topics to motivate parents to encourage their children with by birth ailments so that they could be adjusted to the society and could become independent individuals.
He regretted that the department concerned had no proper data on special persons and therefore had no plan to rehabilitate such people.
“Reservation of two per cent quota for them in government services is a joke. There is need for drastic changes in the policy for integrating and mainstreaming physically challenged persons. My future plans include raising voice for rights of special persons in particular and other people in general and also to become a TV anchor,” said Mr Yousafzai.
Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2021