This girl on wheels makes everyone on foot think twice about what they are doing with their lives. Inspiring people all over the world with the two novelettes she authored, ‘A Story of Mexico’ and ‘The Perfect Situation’, Tanzila Khan is also an entrepreneur from Pakistan. She has inspired people to believe that one can do, and be more than what the society expects of them. At the age of 16, she released her first novel, and since then she has been breaking patriarchal and stereotypical notions through her powerful presence.
I respect that people are different and we all have special needs. I know people who are totally able but still lack the emotional capacity to operate. We all have something missing since we are not perfect.”
Tanzila was born with very weak legs, and has always needed the support of a wheelchair. But, she adamantly refuses to be treated as a disabled person. She says, “I respect that people are different and we all have special needs. I know people who are totally able but still lack the emotional capacity to operate. We all have something missing since we are not perfect.” This 24-year-old with her willful spirit has become the perfect inspiration for many in her country, and now globally as well.
Speaking of being an author as a mere teenager, and commenting on why she felt the need to write, Tanzila says, “I enjoyed being creative with expression. I found this to be a great power that we all possess. If we can write well, then we can gain attention and influence change. I always wanted to use this power for the good of society.” In a world where one’s age and disability are causes for ignorance and sympathy, the life of an author like Tanzila is tougher than usual. She explains, “We are brought up to fear the society, and I too feared being judged for being a naive writer. But I put that all behind and went forward with it. This has been the best decision of my life despite many doubtful people around me.” Her move to be bold changed many a perspective about what one is capable of. Today Tanzila is also a motivational speaker and conducts writing workshops to help other individuals.
We are brought up to fear the society, and I too feared being judged for being a naive writer. But I put that all behind and went forward with it. This has been the best decision of my life despite many doubtful people around me.”
Patriarchal societies can often hinder one’s chances of growth, but not if you have a strong support system like Tanzila has. However, like any South-Asian family, they too were sceptical of her unconventional and forward move. The motivational speaker says that she left her family no choice but to accept her for who she was. Tanzila is persistence and strong-headedness personified. She displayed her resilience in college, where she was pampered far too much and was unable to participate in any extra-curricular activities. Tanzila locked horns with all who thought her too delicate to handle the pressures of the world. And she did so by opening up her own company that works with youth, disability, and human rights. “I am currently in the process of working on projects through which we can involve the disabled community and make them independent. I know it’s doable and not impossible, and I am giving it a lot of time to design it. I really hope to see disabled people independent and self-sustained.”
This brilliant and compassionate entrepreneur Tanzila Khan, who is inspiringly fierce and independent, has just two words of advice for everyone, no matter their occupation, gender, or qualification: “Don’t pause.”