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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Microsoft's youngest professional Arfa Karim Randhawa dies at 16

In India everything is set to standards – students cannot study beyond what others of their age do. For driving you of course need a license which prescribes minimum age limit. One cannot get an employment before one is 18.  There are Wunderkinds – the gifted ones whose brilliance would outshadow their classmates – would attract in a crowd.  Most parents are desirous of their kids outsmarting everybody all the time.  Is that really required – would not people want their child to be either ordinary or just above average – why do parents expect their wards to do all that they were never capable of  or unable to perform in their childhood.  Most modern day kids are weighed down heavily by  peer pressure and parental pressure.

Some studies attribute the genius of child prodigy to genetic component and still some parents expect their ward to be one !!

Prodigy is a child or young person, having extraordinary talent or ability: somebody has wonderful and amazing talent. Somebody possessing  abnormal or monstrous talent of  prophetic significance.   A prodigy is someone who, at an early age, masters one or more skills far beyond his or her level of maturity. One criterion for classifying prodigies is: a prodigy is a child, typically younger than 18 years old, who is performing at the level of a highly trained adult in a very demanding field of endeavour. The giftedness of prodigies is determined by the degree of their talent relative to their ages.  The term Wunderkind (from German: "wonder child") is sometimes used as a synonym for prodigy, particularly in media accounts, although this term is discouraged in scientific literature.

Often we think Pakistan is a country with ordinary people – genius are everywhere – of course in too small numbers.   

Condolences have poured in from around the world after the passing of  Arfa Karim Randhawa, from Faisalabad, Pakistan. The teenager died on Saturday night after complications resulting from an epileptic stroke.  Funeral prayers were offered in Lahore before her body was taken to her native village Ram Dewali, Faisalabad for burial.  Scores of people, including Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, ministers, politicians, friends and Karim's fellow students gathered to support the grieving family during the procession.  According to local reports, Karim went into a coma on December 22 after suffering an epileptic attack and cardiac arrest.    She was only 16 and even Bill Gates is grieving, for she was Microsoft's youngest professional.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who offered to pay for Karim's treatment, told the family he was sad to learn of her death and the loss of such a rare talent, her father said.  She became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional at the age of nine in 2005.  After earning the CCP title, Karim was subsequently invited to visit Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Washington.  Arfa, then ten, met with Gates and other Microsoft executives during the visit, undoubtedly impressing them with her knowledge of programming at such a young age.

She made her country proud, representing Pakistan around the world with her incredible aptitude and skill but quite sadly did not live long enough.  There are reports that the  IT Media City in Karachi will be renamed after the computer prodigy, and will now be known as Arfa Karim IT Media City, Karachi

Photo Courtesy : daily mail co uk

It is really sad to read about her untimely death !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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