Story of 18 year old Temseela with no hands but courage | "Hard work and courage taught me everything."


For 18-year-old Tamseela, having no hands was only the first of many hurdles. The tenth grader, who was born disabled, is the fourth out of seven siblings, and lives with her family in the Nawagai area of Barikot Tehsil in Swat.
In an already patriarchal society, the birth of a daughter with no hands was a double blow for her parents. But Tamseela never regarded herself as disabled, just differently-abled.
“One should not treat disability as one’s weakness, for that is the way God wished to create them.”
Nawagai Village comprises some 1,000 households and is located two kilometres away from Barikot near Buner district. The sole girls’ primary school in the village was shut down once the Taliban took over the valley.
The only boys’ middle school was blasted in 2008.
None of this fazed Tamseela though, as she continued her education and even managed to secure distinguished positions in her class.
Her feet are her hands. Writing is not a problem for her. “So what if I have no hands, I can do it with my toes,” she said, adding, “Hard work and courage taught me everything.”
She even types with her feet. “I can operate a computer with my feet quite easily, but I am not an expert as I do not have a personal computer.”
When asked why she wanted to teach computers, she said, “Computers have great importance in today’s world and I want to enable the girls around me to stand on their own feet.”
She greatly appreciates the support of her family in every endeavour, but was quick to add, “Besides my family, my teachers and friends at school are also very co-operative, they don’t let me feel disabled and interact with me normally.”
However, there are times when Tamseela does have to acknowledge her disability. “Whenever my mother is ill, I feel my weakness because I have no hands to help her with.”
The way to her house comprises a steep ascent with more than 100 steps. She hopes her exhaustive daily trek to school could get a bit shorter.
“I hope to have a girls’ school in my village because every day after climbing all those steps, I have to go to Barikot for class.”
Tamseela is also an educator herself, tutoring her siblings and a few other children from the neighbourhood as well.
“Two of our brothers regularly place in the top three at school due to her guidance during revision and homework,” said Fawad Ali Shah, her older brother.
About her demeanour, Shah said, “She is very kind and has a good relationship with everyone in the house, and she always keeps silent when she is angry because she considers disappointment
to be a sin.”
This young woman proves the power of positive thinking. “I have one message for the disabled community – never treat disability as a weakness. God created every human being with specialty and creativity.”