Srinagar: “After a long, long time,” Insha said, laying stress on the word long, “I feel so happy, and so elated.”
I feel elated after a long, long time.” These were the remarks of pellet-blinded Insha Mushtaq after hearing that she has qualified the class 10 examination, the result of which was declared on Tuesday.
Insha’s joy knows no bounds.
Abu (my father) called me to tell me the result, as soon as he had heard it. I cannot stop smiling since then,” Insha told Greater Kashmir over phone. “I had been really tense on the one hand, but on the other, I knew I had worked hard.”
“After a long, long time,” Insha said, laying stress on the word long, “I feel so happy, and so elated.”
Her father, Mushtaq Ahmed Lone, said that he came back from work to their residence at Sedow Shopian earlier than usual to be with his daughter. The family members of Insha—when they heard her result—said that they broke into tears. “Suddenly, everything—her trauma, her injuries, her helplessness, her struggle, and her resolve flashed before our eyes,” Lone said, adding: “She is jumping with joy. The result has given her encouragement to continue with her studies. It is just Allah’s mercy on us. He did not let us down.”
The grade-sheet of Insha reads: “qualified but to improve”. However, Insha said that she was annoyed that her grade-sheet showed “failing in mathematics.”
“I have not even appeared in mathematics and they have shown my grade as E2. I had taken music as a subject instead of maths,” she said.
The Board of School Education chairperson said that mathematics was not compulsory for visually-impaired students.
“We have an ‘opt-for’ scheme wherein students can choose an optional subject instead of maths. If the student has passed in optional subject, then she need not appear in maths,” Veena Pandita said, when asked about Insha’s complaint. “If her grade sheet is showing mathematics, it must be a computer error. We will look into it.”
Talking about her future plans, Insha said that she still wants to study sciences.
“I want to study in Srinagar now. I have told my parents that I will take admission in class 11 at a Srinagar school,” she said.
About her examination preparations and success, Insha said, “I spent almost all my time on books. I did not go out or spend time with my friends.”
Although, she had started learning Braille from a local teacher in early 2017, the class 10 examination was just a few months away, and she had no option but to study from regular books. A tutor came to her house every day, read aloud her lessons to her and Insha recorded what the tutor narrated. Later, she would play the recording, try to comprehend and remember it.
An examination helper, a student of a class lower than Insha’s and selected by authorities to write her papers, had written on answer sheets on the basis of dictations by Insha.
Insha said that she was grateful to everyone who encouraged and helped her to follow her decision.
Insha was blinded in July 2016, by pellet shotgun injuries to her eyes, when a patrol party of government forces fired at the window of her house where she was standing. In addition to complete blindness, she also suffered brain and skull injuries and underwent many surgeries at various hospitals, in and outside the state.
Insha, however, refused to resign to the disability she suffered and started preparing for class 10 exams soon after she came back to her home, after months of stay at hospitals, and many rounds of unsuccessful surgeries to improve her vision. After passing class 10 exams, she is all the more confident to continue her studies.