Sunday May 29, 2022

Arfa Karim remembered

January 15, 2018

Islamabad:The world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Information Technology (IT) expert from Pakistan Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa was remembered on her 6th death anniversary here on Sunday.

Arfa Karim Randhawa was born in Faisalabad on February 2, 1995. Arfa was the first who won the title of the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional in 2004 and kept that title till 2008. She became the Pride of Pakistan.

The IT expert little girl was unique and genius who met the Founder of Microsoft Bill Gates when she won the Microsoft Certified Professional title. Arfa had many tremendous dreams for citizens just like Health, Education, a separate IT city but she died at age of 16. She received Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal from Prime Minister of Pakistan and also honoured with Pride of Performance award form President of Pakistan. She was also youngest recipient of President’s award.

In 2011, at the age of 16, Arfa was studying at the Lahore Grammar School Paragon Campus in her second year of A-levels. On 22 December 2011, she suffered a cardiac arrest after an epileptic seizure that damaged her brain and was admitted to Lahore's Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in critical condition.

On 9 January 2012, Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, contacted Arfa's parents and directed his doctors to adopt "every kind of measure" for her treatment. Gates set up a special panel of international doctors who remained in contact with her local doctors through teleconference. The panel received details about her illness and provided assistance in diagnosis and treatment.

Doctors dismissed the option of moving Arfa to another hospital due to her being on a ventilator and in critical condition. Members of Arfa's family have lauded Bill Gates for offering to bear her treatment expenses.

On 13 January 2012, Arfa started to improve, and some parts of her brain showed signs of improvement. Her father, Amjad Abdul Karim Randhawa, said Microsoft had raised the possibility of flying Arfa to the US for care. Arfa died in hospital at Lahore on 14 January 2012, aged 16.