Visual impairment : Born with visual impairment
In 1988, Nafisa Shikari became Manager and Corporate Dealer at the Central Bank in Mumbai. Till date, she executes ready and forward transactions, advises her customers on hedging their exposures and coordinates with the bank's International Division to arrange foreign currency loans for her clients. Apart from this she also handles the submission of R-returns, a fortnightly statement of all the sales and purchases of foreign currencies of her branch, to the RBI.
She is an indispensable employee of the bank and is the holder of the prestigious National Award for the Most Efficient Disabled Employee, conferred to her by the President Mr. K. R. Narayanan on December 3, 1999. Her story is a fine example of self-will combined with encouraging efforts by surrounding family, friends and NGOs like NAB.
Born with visual impairment, Nafisa graduated in Economics from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai with assistance in reading and writing from friends, while her vision deteriorated with time. Life became a compromise that was translated in her first job as a telephone operator. But, determined to put her education to productive use, she appeared for the C.A. I. I. B. Exams Part I and II conducted by the Indian Institute of Bankers. Furthermore, she appeared for the promotion exam conducted by the Central Bank of India without being deterred by the pre-condition of living alone out of Mumbai for 2 years and stunned the doubtful management by standing 28th out of 570 candidates. Her hard work paid off and she was employed in Mumbai by the Central Bank. Nafisa did not stop growing.
Today with a full time job her regular activities include working as the Honorary Secretary for the Committee on the Advancement of the Status of Blind Women (NAB India). She is also the treasurer for the NGO forum on the Status of Blind Women and an out-going President of the Blind Graduates' Forum of India. NAB, recognising her enthusiasm and devotion, has conferred upon her the Neelam Kanga Award as encouragement for self-progress and for others to follow her example.
For leisure, she pursues the hobby of Amateur Radio popularly known as Ham Radio and is on the managing committee of Mumbai Amateur Radio Society (MARS). Her favourite pastime is to surf the Net with the Net reader.