Pakistan is reportedly planning to build a model village in honour of late Arfa Karim, an information technology genius who at nine years became the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP).
Arfa’s ancestral village in Punjab, Ramdewali Chak No.4, will be soon developed into a model village at a cost of Rs. 140 million. A monument will be built at her grave, and a library and a museum will also be established within the model village.
“She deserves to be honoured by the entire nation forever,” the state wire service APP quoted a government spokesman as saying. The village will have a girls’ degree college, a technical training centre, a basic health unit, a playground, improved drainage scheme, paved streets, provision of potable water and agriculture equipment.
Arfa died in January 2012, aged 16, after complications resulting from an epileptic stroke and cardiac arrest. She rose to international fame when she became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) at the age of nine in 2005.
She was subsequently invited to visit the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, by founder Bill Gates. She received the Fatimah Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of science and technology in 2005, and was also the recipient of the President’s Award for Pride of Performance.
In 2006, she was invited by Microsoft to be a part of a conference in Barcelona. She was the only Pakistani among over 5,000 developers in that conference.