Winning smile. Shobhika Kalra poses with a plaque awarded to her by the Pakistan Association of Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A Dubai woman who suffers from a rare degenerative disorder but has helped build more than 1,000 ramps across the UAE was honoured by the Pakistan Association of Dubai on Tuedsay.

Wheelchair-bound Shobhika Kalra, whose support group, Wings of Angelz, has been on an overdrive to help make UAE more wheelchair-friendly, said she received the honour for her service to community  “Generally people attach a stigma to those with disabilities. But such awards are very reassuring and help in their integration into mainstream society,” she said.

She said, “Despite my condition, I have always believed that hard work pays off. It’s important to believe in yourself and the work you do. Things will eventually fall in place.”

Steely resolve

Talking about her journey, she said, “I have faced many challenges in my life. It hasn’t been an easy journey at all, but with a determined mindset anything and everything can be achieved.”

She said, “I would like to dedicate this award to my parents for always believing in me. None of this would have been possible without their love for me. My elder sister has also given me rock solid support. And so have the Wings of Angelz family.”

Kalra said the award was given at a function organised by the Pakistani Association of Dubai and the Pakistan Embassy on the occasion of the Pakistan Independence Day on August 14. The chief guest at the event was UAE’s Minister of Tolerance, Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan. A number of dignitaries were present on the occasion.