By Fazal Khaliq
MINGORA: Though born with speech and hearing impairments to a poor family of Malam Jabba, Azra Bibi pursued her passion for skiing with determination to become one of the best minor skiers in the region.
The nine-year-old girl along with her brother sells boiled eggs to contribute to the family’s livelihood.
She communicates with family members by sign language.
Her brother, Hamza Khan, who is also a skier, said though Azra could not hear and speak, she was quick to learn, especially how to ski.
“She began skiing with wooden planks as a little child as she didn’t have ski equipment. Later on, she got herself enrolled in the Malam Jabba Ski School to polish her skiing skills as a professional,” he told MP.
Mr Hamza said at the Malam Jabba Ski School, his sister not only learned quickly but also outdid other skiers of her age within two years of admission.
“Azra participated in many competitions and won several of them. She can compete with senior professional skiers on the main slope in Malam Jabba,” he said.
The boy said she wanted to participate in national and international skiing championship to do the country proud at the international level.
Ski instructor Sharif said the girl was passionate for skiing and took keen interest when she came to the ski school.
“If she continues learning in the school, I am sure she will be better skier than normal people here. In the coming two to three years, she will be a professional skier and will be able to play at international level,” he said.
Mr Hamza said the government should support the girl by providing her with necessary equipment.