By Waleed Tariq:
LAHORE — 14th January’11, World’s youngest IT wizard Arfa Karim Randhawa lost the battle of life at the Combined Military Hospital on Saturday after remaining in coma for 24 days.
Studying at Lahore Grammar School Paragon Campus in her second year of A Levels, Arfa was admitted to Lahore’s CMH hospital on 22nd December after suffering cardiac arrest. She was ailing from idiopathic epilepsy seizure which led to brain damage.
As per news reports, medical experts say that epilepsy can be caused by a variety of infectious and non-infectious diseases but in idiopathic epilepsy underlying disease of the brain or body cannot be identified in the early or short investigations.
Born on February 2, 1995, Karim came to limelight after becoming the youngest Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) in the world in 2004 at the age of 9. She kept her title until 2008. Upon completing her course, Microsoft owner Bill Gates had invited her to visit the company’s headquarters in the US.
She also got hold of numerous awards from both private and government institutions for her achievements. In August 2005, Arfa Karim received the Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of science and technology by the then prime minister Shaukat Aziz. She was even honored with the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award which set up by Pakistan’s only Nobel laureate Dr Abdul Salam and the president’s award for Pride of Performance. Karim has several medals from IT professionals around the world, to her name as well.
Her talents however, were versatile. Besides excelling in the field of science and technology, Arfa also flew a plane in Dubai at the age of 10. Nevertheless, her love for technology, started long before she was recognized internationally. After finding out about computers for the first time at the age of five, she asked her father for a personal computer, and since then there was no looking back.
Soon after her death, condolences started coming in from various circles. Politicians as well as other members of the civil society expressed sorrow and grief over the sad demise of the young genius. Her funeral prayers were offered today at 10am at Cavalry Ground from where her body is to be taken to Faisalabad for burial at her ancestral village.