For Soheil and Nasreen Akhtar, Anum’s parents, the news of Anum’s Harvard stint came as boundless joy. Soheil, who works as a driver in a Karachi-based organisation, was able to complete just his matriculation while his wife never had formal education. The two therefore always dreamed of their daughter achieving milestones in education. With a meagre income, Anum’s father could barely manage the family’s basic needs. Paying for the schooling fees of his children was a stretch. But Anum’s performance at school came to her rescue.
The journey was not an easy one. From issues such as finding transport to go to school to adjusting to an English medium curriculum at university, there were several ups-and-downs but Fatima remained undeterred. Currently, Fatima is gearing up to represent Pakistan and TCF at Harvard, but in the long run she aspires to be a CEO at a multi-national organisation. But before she does that she wants to give back by becoming more involved with TCF in its educational initiatives.