For far too long our special needs children have been marginalised and overlooked by the state. Basic amenities, like special needs quality education, healthcare and recreational activities, have been visibly absent from the national agenda.

It is heartening to hear that the special children, appearing in the annual Secondary School Certificate Examinations 2015 in AJK, have made history as 100% of the hearing impaired students qualified the examinations. This means that given the right environment, these children can excel in their studies and compete with the rest of the population.

The hearing impaired students had appeared in the exam besides thousands of normal candidates. They all qualified the examinations with distinction by establishing a new precedence for the educational institutions of normal children running in private and particularly for those functioning in the public sectors. Not only have these children become an inspiration of those who are differently abled like them, but for government institutions who lack the will to tap into the immense potential of bright young children across the country to build them into leaders of tomorrow.

Another inspirational story comes from Karachi where fifteen-year-old Manbir Kaur has created history by becoming the first Sikh girl to top Matric examinations, securing 1035 out of 1100 marks. It is not an easy feat being a minority in this country let alone fighting social prejudices to emerge to the top in any field.

The problem is not with the child, or her social status or background. The problem always lies in the facilities offered to the child to grow and excel. The government has countless examples of successes from students who have handicaps, whether it be a poverty, a disability, or if they are part of a repressed minority. Imagine what these children could do, if the playing field was equal? That is exactly what the job of the state is: to create a level playing field so that people excel not because of their money or social status, but because of their talents and efforts.