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Blind Zakia secures 80% marks in matric exams
Wants to stand up for disabled children after completing studies
ESS AHMAD
BIJBEHARA, Jan 12: Zakia Manzoor, aged 16 was blind by birth. Her parents took her to every known eye care institute in India for treatment. However, they returned dejected every time as they were told, every time, that the disability their daughter suffers cannot be treated.

Till the age of nine her parents kept her indoors and only busied themselves in her care. For several years they were apprehensive about sending their daughter to school. But seeing the spirit and passion of their daughter for studies the worried parents finally admitted her in a nearby school imparting education to the children with disabilities.

Ten years later, their blind daughter proved that she was only differently abled but not disabled by achieving remarkable success in matriculation exams the results of which were declared recently.

Zakia, secured 80 percent marks in the exams bringing joy on the faces of her parents.

"My parents were initially worried about my going to school. They had fears that my going out may cause harm to me. But I did not let my spirit for studies die. I insisted my parents to admit me in a school and they did," Zakia told Kashmir Times.

It was at Zeba Aapa Institute of Inclusive Education Bijbehara, Zakia studied till class 8. "I studied elementary classes using brail method and then shifted to girls higher secondary school (GHSS) Bijbehara for secondary schooling," she said.

She said that though at Zeba Aapa Institute she completed her elementary schooling without any difficulty due to the facilities available and the support of teachers. "Teachers there always encouraged me to go ahead," she adds.

However, at government school where she passed secondary classes, Zakia says, she had to face many hardships.

"Since there were no such facilities available at government run secondary school I have to always fight with the difficulties but never gave up," she said.

How Zakia prepared for matric exams and which methods she used to study?

"Till class 8 it was the brail method but in class 9 and 10, I used recording method to remember my lessons. I would take my cell phone inside the class and record every single lecture delivered by the teacher. Then I would play the recording at home repeatedly and memorise the same," Zakia said.

Though Zakia was alloted a scribe (helper) who wrote her exams but she was agonised by the BOSE officials in the process of seeking the scribe, an incident which she says, will always haunt her.

"Since there is a rule that a scribe should be one class less educated and I had chosen a student of class 9 who was studying in a private school. But when I submitted an application seeking the scribe the board officials at Srinagar told me he should be studying in 8th class only. Then they processed the case to sub-office Anantnag where the officials agonised me more, telling me that the scribe should be from a government school," she said.

It was only a day before the exams commenced, she said, that her agonies ended after the head of the institute she had to appear in exams allowed her bring the helper that she had chosen.

Zakia wants to pursue her studies and go ahead with English literature at college and university level.

"Since I have come across various success stories at seminars and other functions which inspired me a lot. Now the success in my matric exams has encouraged me more," she said.

Zakia after completing her studies only wants to work for the welfare of people with disabilities.

"Once I complete my studies I will only stand up for the children with disabilities so that their rights are not marred," Zakia says.


News Updated at : Saturday, January 13, 2018
 
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