Like many Pakistani parents, they hoped their child would become a Doctor, however when Darakshan Jamshaid took her first step towards a pre-engineering course, she received a lot of criticism from her extended family for choosing a male oriented field.
Darakshan said “In our culture, girls normally get engaged at 16 and married at 20 years. Normally the career of a women after getting married goes no-where in our culture but in my case, the different thing happened.”
Her parents fiercely faced all a lot of criticism from extended relatives, however they strongly supported her enrolment into the University for Computer Engineering. “I was always passionate to indulge technology into people’s life, to make it more easier to handle things” Darakshan said.
Back in 2000, the computer sciences was emerging in Pakistan and most of the organizations and offices used the paper based system for employee check-in details.
Darakshan Jamshaid made various software to automate the medical and banking systems.
One of the softwares, particularly used for employee check in using a fingerprint reader biometric device received high recognition from the University and software houses.
Darakshan Jamshaid became a pioneer in her field of computer engineering. She was the first to introduce biometrics in every day life at the university. She received a Bachelor of Computer Engineering with Honours (Distinction) and a Masters in Information Technology.
She said “My parents felt that all of their prayers for my success were answered inspite of being criticised for enrolling me in university.”
Coming from a traditional Pakistani background, Darakshan shares her story of determination in pursuing her passion for education. With an incredibly supportive and loving family, she has successfully attained everything she has ever wanted.
Darakshan is a wonderful representation that Pakistani women can receive education in all fields of modern sciences, and leaves a great impression to anyone she meets.
When Darakshan got married and moved to Australia in 2004, she became increasingly determined to dream bigger and achieve a higher education in computer engineering.
Her father in law and husband, supported her passion for education, and encouraged her to take the opportunities to excel in her field.
“My father in law was a person who always believed in educating girls because he thinks only the education laid the tremendous impact on upbringing of children from generation to generation. His wisdom was transferred to my husband who let me pursue my goal with full eagerness and enthusiasm.” said Darakshan Jamshaid.
“My previous accomplishments are just because of my supporting mother who always believed in educating girls. She raised me and my sister with the belief to always try your best to achieve something, be confident with your success and never lose hope. As Allah swt always help those who helped themselves.”
However, Jamshaid shares the challenges of balancing her education and raising three children. “With the load of family responsibilities and kids most of the time seems hard to accomplish. My mother always encourages me and acts like a backbone of my life.” Among all of her responsibilities, Darakshan continued to volunteer at Rockdale public school, helping students in reading once a week and HSC students for maths and IT related projects.
In 2010, Darakshan enrolled in a Masters of Professional Accounting, but due to family commitments, was not able to complete it.
She did not lose hope, her husband and mother told her that her time for further study will come one day.
In 2012, Darakshan enrolled into a Masters of Information Technology at the University of Sydney.
However this time, her husband had the idea of calling her mother from overseas for whole year to provide moral support and assisting with family care. “My whole family felt so excited that I got a Distinction and especially my mum who left her relatives, in-laws, friends and my dad overseas just to make my dream come true. I felt exhausted with three young kids under 7 and trying to achieve this journey of success. But my mother always kept my morale high and motivated me.”” she said.
After seeing her struggling with all of household activities and kid’s education, her husband began to take a bigger role in most of the kid’s duties.
Her eldest son Junaid, only 8 years old at the time would usually pack her bag or printed out her assignments if she was running late for university or busy.
In 2013, Darakshan Jamshaid went onto the High Honour Roll with the support of her family. “It is hard to believe for my local Australian/English friends and University teachers that I am from Pakistan and received such an honour with three kids. The normal perception about Pakistani and Muslim girls is that they usually stay at home and didn’t attend colleges and universities.”
“I believe every woman possesses an in born talent of management skills from managing home to working in offices. They usually lack self-confidence and determination to pursue their studies while juggling around with so many responsibilities.”
Darakshan believes that every women should at least try to set their goals such as start with little things instead of thinking about “can’t do because of so many reasons” and eventually, one day, they will become able to manage it all.
“For my kids, I try to set an example that by hard work and determination you can achieve anything. Being a mum I always try to encourage and motivate my kids to make small steps to achieve your goals instead of giving up. And education is only vital assets of the life that will always benefits you, your family and lead to success by all means.”
Her whole family was behind her; including her husband, kids, father in law, parents, friends. “The only key is to believe in yourself and never loses hope. I am always thankful to Allah (swt) who has blessed me with such wonderful people.”