Pakistani Girl Who Lost a Leg in 2005 Earthquake Competes in Ski Race

(Dear friend:  Wanted to tell you about Insha Afsar, 17, a high school student. (Also read Dawn article below).

Insha attends Berkshire School, a boarding school in Massachusetts, entirely due to the Bent family, a retired American couple in Connecticut who sponsored her. 

Over the last two years, a few friends and myself have tried to assist her with her skiing related expenses. Last month we found out that she hasn't seen her family in PK for two years and is planning to visit her family this summer, but only if she is able to buy an air-ticket.

Also trying to establish a college fund for her as she will be ready for college in 2017.

If you and your friends are receptive to the idea of contributing to help this amazing girl, please let me know.


Siraj Khan )

Insha Afsar was one of the thousands of victims who suffered from the devastating earthquake that shook northern parts of Pakistan on October 8, 2005.

Afsar lost a leg when her house came down on the tragic day. But she has not let that stop her from pursuing her passion.

Last week, Afsar   competed in a ski racing competition  in the US Paralympic Alpine National Championships and was seen storming down the slalom course at Loon Mountain in Lincoln, New Hampshire.

She now attends Berkshire Academy in Massachusetts and is sponsored by the Loon-based New England Disabled Sports (NEDS). Afsar was one of the 40 athletes participating in the competition.

In a 2006 photo essay published in TIME, readers caught a glimpse of Insha Afsar, a seven-year-old girl who lost a leg when her house collapsed on it during an earthquake in Kashmir. The stark photograph of a girl in a red coat struck a chord with TIME readers and staffers. In the Feb. 5, 2007 edition of TIME, managing editor   Rick Stengel wrote about Asfar :

“In April 2006, we ran a three-page photo essay by Yuri Kozyrev documenting the state of refugees in Kashmir after the catastrophic earthquake that took the lives of 75,000 people and displaced 3 million more. One of Yuri’s pictures was of a slight girl in a hooded orange parka who had lost her leg in the quake. Two days after the magazine appeared, TIME’s news-desk supervisor, Eileen Harkin, got a call from a member of the Shriners organization in Los Angeles. It wanted to help the girl. With clues from Yuri’s notebooks and the assistance of his contacts in several relief organizations, we located the girl, Insha Afsar, 7, in a camp in Kamsar, just north of Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. TIME news director Howard Chua-Eoan personally paid for her to travel to the US with her father for treatment. She has since been fitted with a special prosthesis, which will have to be adjusted as she grows.”



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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