Single Mother. Businesswoman. Campaigner
Every month we will be bringing you an exclusive insight of a day in the life of an influential personality. Looking at what inspires them, defining the passion they have for what they do and exploring a day of their life.
Meet Pam Malhi. Single Mother. Businesswoman. Campaigner.
After finding out her eldest daughter had autism, Pam Malhi set out on a mission. She wanted to change the perceptions and mindset that her community had about the condition. Starting her campaign was no easy feat for Pam and the changing the attitudes of a stubborn community was an even difficult challenge. The Asian Today’s Hifzha Shaheen managed to catch up with the woman himself to talk about her life, the campaign and a journey with no destination.
1. What’s an average day in your life like?
6am: There’s no such thing as an average day in our house! The alarm goes off each morning at 6. I go to the bathroom first then wake my eldest Aaisha.
6.30am: Help her get dressed and do shirt buttons as she struggles with fine motor skills, come down and depending on her mood she’ll either have breakfast or I’ll have to feed her.
8:00am: Around 8 the younger 2 are dressed and washed and usually having breakfast and then leave to do the school run with them two. I usually put on the path (Sikh Prayers) each morning; have a cup of tea, tiding up.
10am: I start work. I work from home running Metro Airport Parking. Check emails, return calls and confirm bookings and check website and PayPal.
12pm: Around 12 I make a small lunch and take a 30 min break. Back on at 12.30pm I work right through till 3.30pm then log out. Aneesa & Cameron return home.
4:30pm: I leave to take Cameron to his boxing class. Around 5pm Aaisha gets home. Back downstairs and have do dinner. Again depending on her mood she will eat or I’ll have to feed her.
7:30pm Go pick Cameron up from his boxing class on our return he heads up for a shower, while I make his food. If we had no meltdowns and all is calm, I go upstairs and spend an hour for 1-1 with Aaisha reading to her, getting her to say words and some number counting and playing with Lego.
8.30pm: I come downstairs get her milk and cookies and then she’ll have them. Take her to the bathroom and put her to bed. 9pm back downstairs for some 1-1 with the Twinnies as I call the younger two. Check homework do some reading and catch up on the day’s events.
10pm: put them to bed. A quick tidy up and then log back on to laptop. I usually spend another 2 hrs catching up with work then around 12am head up to bed.
2. Why did you decide to raise awareness for autism?
When I moved from London to Leicester nearly 4 years ago I realised there was a huge lack of awareness and understanding about autism in the Asian community. It was very disheartening to see this. I wanted others to understand this journey that I and many other families are on. I wanted them to know how autism can affects a person and what it means to have and live with autism and make it clear that it’s okay to talk about these things and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
3. Where did the passion of campaigning come from?
The passion is my daughter. I want to make a difference to not only her life but all those living with autism. I want my daughter to experience everything every other child does. I’m fully aware she might never fully do this but I owe it to her to try and do all that I can. To raise as much awareness and acceptance of autism.
4. Do you ever take a break?
A break? What’s that? In April this year I took my first ever break away from the kids by going to Vegas for 5 nights. The first break in nearly 19 years without the kids. Even though I worried about Aaisha as she wouldn’t understand like the twinnies did I was going away, I had a great time and it was good to be me and just me for a few days.
Quick Fire Questions
One drink that gets you through the day? Coke
One person that gets you through the day? God
One gadget that gets you through the day? iPhone
One song that gets you through the day? Tu Mera Rakha Sabhini Thai
One food that gets you through the day? Refreshers chews
Favourite time of the day? Bedtime
THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOUR DAY: Challenging, different & blessed