Visually impaired Pakistani student wins scholarship to Oxford University

Khansa said, "I do have a disability, I am blind, and I first-hand experienced the impacts of not having an inclusive society."

A 22-year-old visually impaired Pakistani girl, Khansa Maria, student of Georgetown University’s Qatar Campus, has been selected for the Rhode Scholarship for the fall of 2021 at Oxford University.

She is planning to pursue a master’s degree in evidence-based policy intervention and social evaluation.

Born blind, Khansa Maria wants to use her abilities and experience in a way that benefits others.

Khansa said, “I do have a disability, I am blind, and I first-hand experienced the impacts of not having an inclusive society.”

“I do have a certain responsibility to my community to improve things to the extent that I can or at least lend my skills or my experience to the benefit of future blind people from Pakistan,” she told Voice of America.

 “Many places are still inaccessible to people with disabilities, and communication and language techniques are not perfect for people with disabilities.”

Khansa Maria due to her visual impairment, had to face many difficulties while studying in Pakistan. so, the idea of determined to do something for the physically challenged is very personal to her.

Maria speaks out for the rights of the physically challenged and urges them to be included in the social system. She connects with groups of people and businesses who want to make their workplace easier or more convenient for people with physical disabilities.

She says other students like her at Georgetown University’s Qatar campus have all the facilities that are provided to people with physical disabilities under US law. But she says many places are still inaccessible to the physically challenged.

Despite being visually impaired, she has worked at the US Embassy in Qatar and has a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University’s Qatar campus.

She has been highly praised and encouraged ever since she went viral and social media users praised her commitment to making the country proud.

Pakistan national tourism coordination board chairman Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari also tweeted, “A proof that your problems are only as big as you make them. Congratulations Khansa, the entire country is proud!.”

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