BY SHIGRI MUHAMMAD JUNIOR
HUSSAINABAD: Sumera Baig who against all odds, is on her way to be the first female engineer in her remote region of northern Pakistan.
Sumera grew up in the agricultural village of Hussainabad, Hindu Kush Mountains, and went to an Urdu medium school. Today, Sumera is completing her master's thesis at the prestifious RWTH Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule engineering research university in Aachen, Germany.
Sumera's remarkable story in her own words is posted on Gilgit-Baltistan Woman Sports Association Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/gbwomansports
Even as a child, Sumera says she was good at solving problems and was 'always fascinated by science and technology', and wanted to be an engineer. In order for her to achieve her dream, her father later transferred her to Gilgit, so she could study and learn in English.
"I remember as a child, when one day he (my father) dropped me at the bus station and told me to reach home by myself, as I used to be shy and scared of people. After reaching home my dad said,” It's just the beginning of my life and I have to be brave enough to overcome my fears”"
"Whatever I am today, I owe everything to my mother. Being born and brought up in a male dominated society, my mother always acted as a shield for me". She was taunted for having so many daughters and told “investing time and money in them (girls) is a waste”. But still she stood on her beliefs and assisted us in every possible way she can and I am proud to say that I have never let her down.
Although some of her colleagues attempted to get into engineering school, Sumera was the only one who survived the grueling entrance exams and criteria, and was accepted into the Pakistan's top NED University of Engineering & Technology in Karachi.
After four years of perseverance, Sumera graduated from NED with an Industrial Electronics Engineer degree. She was financially unable to continue to graduate school, and got a job in the telecom sector as an international sales manager, but not what she wanted with her engineering background.
However, Sumera never gave up her dream. Her courage and relentless desire for education paid off, as she later received a scholarship for graduate studies at the Sirindhorn International Thailand-German Graduate School of Engineering (TGGS) in Bangkok www.tggs.kmutnb.ac.th.
Due to her outstanding performance, she was accepted into the prestifious RWTH Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen engineering research university in Aachen, Germany, where she is now completing her master's thesis and adding German to her portfolio of languages.