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Photos By Abhilash Pillai / Insta: @theimagegrapher
"Disability is not inability" is a common phrase many people understand today. No kind of physical ability can stop a disabled person from achieving great things provided they are supported and encouraged and they have the innate courage and determination to transcend. Many have already proved disability is never an obstacle on the path to success.
History showed us many times over that many great people despite their disabilities excelled in life.
With her warm, big smile and welcoming spirit, 13-year-old Fatma Bano is one of those kids who consistently amazes people. While hers is one of the most challenging journeys a kid can ever take, she looks at life and her achievements with enthusiasm giving more to life than life actually giving her anything.
Even at birth, Fatma has been diagnosed as a special needs child. Not only is she not able to speak, but she is also unable to express her feelings and cannot do some of the basic stuff other children can do so well and easily.
Maimuna, her elder sister shared, “Fatma, has a delay in her brain development and will not be able to live a normal life ever.”
Despite this, Maimuna is a witness to her sister's unbroken spirit and it is this glimpse of happiness whenever she pursues an interest that inspires Maimuna to support her sister in all the things that she does.
“Fatma loves to dance and can copy any dance steps amazingly”, Maimuna said. To help, encourage her sister and inspire others, she decided to create an Instagram page for Fatma and through her lively and entertaining videos, Fatma has become one of the inspiring children with special needs in Oman who transcended her limitations to become a well-known social media personality and influencer.
Fatma is currently pursuing her love for dancing. Apart from her regular performances in the school programs, she has recently participated in a very prestigious stage performance organized by the Indian Social Club in Association with the Indian Embassy. The event was attended by our honourable Chairman of the Board of Directors of the association of the Children with Disabilities Sayyida Hujaija Al Said and The Indian Ambassador Amit Narang.
She was also shortlisted for the unique talent for Indian School Talent Fest (ISTF) 2021. Participated and received a certificate in the tennis camp for the special needs children organized by the Indian Social club along with the KTT group, in March 2022. Being a special needs child, Fatma mainly faces issues that concern following instructions and processes the same in normal time. The delay in breaking down information results in to delay in her output as well. Despite these difficulties, she remains a functional member of society.
She attends her school regularly with her twin brother who is also a special needs child and manages to take care of herself along with her brother. Currently, Fatma is engaged with different brands from Oman and working as their brand promoter. She has successfully and spontaneously managed to complete her photoshoots with various brands/institutions. Despite her difficulties to understand the instruction at the photoshoot, Maimuna mentioned “ Fatma, tries carefully to observe lips movements and understand the instruction and manages to complete her shoots exactly as per the requirements”.
Fatma Bano is proof that despite limitations, kids can still become effective members of society if they receive the proper support and push not just from their loved ones but the community in general. To learn more about Fatma, you can follow her on Instagram: @fatma_cutie19