By Tanveer Magrey
On December 3, 2023, Amir Suhail Wani wrote, “Memoir of a Specially-Abled Person” in the local daily, Kashmir Observer. In my mindscape, his Twitter pictures reign supreme. A bookworm who is girdled around by books. A lover who is bitten by Urdu poetry and sporadically treats his followers by a couplet or two. His shikwah is genuine. It is legitimate. Amir reminds me of all other persons with disabilities who I have had a privilege to know, especially who have carved a niche for themselves.
Bashir Ahmad Mir doesn’t hear. He doesn’t talk either. He is deaf and dumb by birth. But Bashir Ahmad – a resident of Ratnipora village of Tangmarg – doesn’t need any of them when he holds the painting brush. What he does on the canvas leaves onlookers awestruck. Deaf and Dumb by birth, Bashir’s inclination towards painting became conspicuous very early in his life. With age, his brush strokes became more enticing. Today he has hordes of paintings to give an envious décor to his CV. Moreover, he works as a Casual Labour in Gulmarg Cable Corporation. He didn’t enroll in any art school. Isn’t he special?
Sayer Abdullah, a resident of Vessu, Anantnag, is a professional motor sport driver who lost his right arm in a road accident at the age of 11. Literally and metaphorically, he takes the challenges head on single-handedly. Having a Master in Corporate Law, Sayer, 27-years-old, works as a court Clerk in the R & B department. Isn’t he special?
Mohd Sultan is a Kashmiri research scholar who is bereft of both the arms. Hailing from Wusan Bangil, a small village in north Kashmir’s Tangmarg area, his handicappedness didn’t deter him to pursue PhD at Kashmir University. Apart from academic excellence, Sultan works as a counselor in the Student Welfare Department. With stoicism and perseverance, he marches ahead to turn his dream into reality. Isn’t he special?
Kashmir Observer readers would remember Zahid Manzoor, the one-legged boy I had done a feature on. With his disarming smile, he feeds off the positivity and tranquility in his family.
As I am writing this piece, a wonderful story of two scholar siblings from South Kashmir’s Hanjan village are busy adding envious feathers to their mortarboard caps despite being blind. Having cracked Junior Research Fellow (JRF), Aqib Rahman and Rohi Rahman are ascending the academic ladder with thumping authority. Moreover, Aqib has grabbed a scholarship recently that would land him in Scotland for Masters in Human Rights and Diplomacy.
The list is endless. Due to the paucity of space, I have only mentioned a few.
“Disability needs not to be an obstacle to success,” Stephen hawking, a wheelchair- bound physicist, had written in this first -ever world disability report in 2011. He is being proved right by every person with disability who goes an extra mile to carve a niche for himself/herself. They have left their deep imprints in every sector. Their canvas is not limited. Their CV has all the coveted ingredients to roll too many heads. Their skillset stands them out. They don’t need a disdainful look. They need a comforting arm over shoulder, a high-five on their achievements, a hurrah on their accomplishments.
- Views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial stance of Kashmir Observer
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