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Success is yours in any field whatever be the disability - My Take

I got interested in cooking when I was 12 years old. My mother was recovering from cancer and was bedridden for a year. My elder sister was married and I took charge of household activities, including cooking.

I would ask my mother for the recipes of simple dishes like dal and sabzi and would follow her instructions. Even after my mother was better and back on her feet, I continued to help her in the kitchen. By the time I was 15 years old I was making dishes like chicken curry.

I was always determined to be financially independent and stand on my feet. To achieve that I acquired many skills like crochet and also did a beautician's course.

One day I saw a poster for a one-year catering course at the DEEDS Public Charitable Trust and I decided to enroll. I got 98% in the exam, which was the highest, and my confidence grew.

I was taken on as an apprentice at the Taj Group of Hotels. After my training was over, I continued to work at the Taj bakery and many of my dishes like walnut cookies were in high demand. The dish that I am best known for is chocolate mousse which was so popular that it was sent to the business class section of the airlines and won me many compliments.

Today I am a permanent employee with the Taj group and I work at their Cold Kitchen department where I make sandwiches, salads and rolls for Starbucks and the airlines.

For me communicating with the rest of the staff has not been such a major problem as I am able to speak and listen with the help of a hearing aid. My parents detected that I was hearing impaired when I was two years old and I started receiving auditory training very early and learned to communicate.

My message to everyone else is that if you do what is expected of you well and with passion, success is yours in any field regardless of any disability.

You have to be committed and take the initiative.

About the Writer

Uzma Sharifi is a cook with the Taj Group of Hotels at the Cold Kitchen department. Her most in demand dishes are caramel custard and walnut cookies.

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