Armed with a conference invitation and visa but no money for the airfare, Tanzila Khan raised the money she needed in just two days
What do you do when you are a young Pakistani woman who gets an Indian visa just four days before the conference you’ve been invited to attend – but you now realize you are unable to afford the traveling cost?
The visa, which you never thought you’d get, is in your hands, just four days before the conference starts on May 29 in Bangalore, India. The conference organisers have offered you a full scholarship, waiving the fees. But you need money for two air tickets from Lahore to Bangalore and back – two, because you are in a wheelchair and you need your mother to accompany you as an attendant.
If you are Tanzila Khan, you reach out to people to help you reach your goal, without wasting any time.
“I need your help,” she wrote in an introductory note. “As I have to raise Rs. 1, 35,000 in just two days. I pitched myself as a worker. I told my peers that I will do one task for them and in return charge them. All my life I have worked very hard and have believed in myself. I just have two days to make the unbelievable happen for me. I’d appreciate if you let me do a task for you and then pay me for it.”
Not for nothing does she call herself an “Optimism Expert.
“Once upon a time there was a girl on the wheelchair who spent her time eating pizza and reading Sydney Sheldon until one day she realized that there was a lot to be done for the world, hope to be distributed, laughter to be shared and smiles to be given away,” reads her introductory profile.
That is Tanzila Khan, who at age 16 published her first novelette, “A story of Mexico” that she sold to benefit earthquake and flood victims. Her fund-raising for those causes included door-to-door campaigns and attending camps to give her contribution to the affected people. The experience, she says, taught her “the art of selling and communication at a young age”.
Her focus areas now include motivation, public speaking, confidence building, entrepreneurship, project management, conflict resolution and team building. She has represented Pakistan at several international and national platforms.
“Life is not just about being extremely enthusiastic and sitting on your sofa but getting out there and exploring this amazing playground called, World. You can’t expect to come in as A and leave as B, but you can expect to leave as A+,” she says.
What Tanzila offers through her expertise is “a set of skills, a motivation inhaler, a perspective, a thinking cap, a box of ideas and a pack of laughter.”
And she shows how, with determination and sincerity, you can make things happen. In just two days, she had met her goal, raising the money through article writing, book editing, a motivational session, baking brownies and a photography assignment.
“I really believe that if I am educated I should be able to support myself and stand on my feet. My father pays for my education and that’s more than enough,” says Tanzila Khan. We look forward to hearing about her experiences in India.
— Beena Sarwar