Rare Success

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After losing her books and both her parents during the process of examination and still making it with better scores sets Insha Lone apart, reports Saifullah Bashir

Insha’s grandparents, Mrs and Mr Abdul Gani Lone, take care of her and her brother.

In the recently declared Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (BOSE) results of the twelfth standard, Insha Lone, a resident of Newa (Pulwama) secured 85 per cent marks. Seemingly this is unimpressive given the students getting 500/500 but what makes it special is that Insha managed this score while losing both her parents during the examinations.

“I am missing my father and mother,” Insha said while crying. She lost her “home” at the beginning of the examination and her parents died within a week when she was busy being examined for practical’s.

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Insha migrated to Rangreth (Srinagar) in November 2020, along with her family.  “There were two reasons for migration,” Insha said. “One was my study and another was the continuous harassment of my father in Pulwama.”

On November 1, 2020, when Insha was preparing for her examination, a cordon and search operation (CASO) was launched in Rangreth. In the ensuing gunfight at the rented space of Insha’s parents, Hizbul Mujahideen top militant, ‘Dr Saifullah’ was killed. Kashmir Police Chief, Vijay Kumar termed the killing as a “big success”.

In the encounter, the rented house went up in flames and it included everything including her books and other study material. “I had prepared notes on my own. It was the hard work of my full year, which got destroyed in just seconds,” Insha said.

Complicating the crisis, the same day her father Zaheer Abbas went missing. “I was now helpless,” she said. “It was a tough battle. Searching for my father, focusing on studies without any material left.”

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It was an extraordinary situation. No books, pandemic, a missing father and the examination on the head. “I was not able to cope up. There was a pandemic and the internet had turtle’s pace,” she said.

Insha was studying at Srinagar’s prominent tuition centre, whose mobile application was working on 2G bandwidth and that rescued the young student. “I took the help from the books of friends and neighbours,” she said.

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Meanwhile, her family continued to search for her father amid the rumours that he might have joined the militant ranks. In mid-November, an audio clip went viral on social media which claimed Insha’s father had joined militant ranks. The clip was forwarded to her by one of her cousins. “I could not gather the courage to watch it,” she said. “I have nothing to say on this. It was traumatic.”

A day after the audio surfaced, Insha wrote a Physics examination paper. “I could not read the entire syllabus. My target was high but the condition was absolutely opposite,” she said.

Unlike Insha, her mother Rozy was seriously impacted by her husband joining militancy. “She continuously was uttering how we can face people? How can we survive? How can I raise you?” Insha remembers.

Rozy could not “bear the separation”. On December 11, she died of cardiac arrest after she complained of chest pain and fell unconscious. ”We immediately brought her to District Hospital but doctors declared her dead on arrival,” Insha said.

Following her mother’s death, another audio of her father went viral in which he was seen praising his wife while stating that “death is inevitable.”

A week after Rozy’s death, a gunfight broke out in Anantnag where the police arrested Zaheer Abbas in injured condition. Later on December 18, he succumbed to his injuries in Srinagar’s SMHS hospital leaving Insha orphaned amid her examinations.

“I saw the face of my father in the Police Control Room (PCR) and the second time in Baramulla where he was laid to rest, more than 80 kilometres from our home” said Insha.

Losing her parents left Insha literally alone. Insha is the eldest daughter of her parents. Her younger brother, Saqib is studying in the eighth standard.

It is their grandfather, Abdul Gani Lone who is taking care of his grandchildren. “My grandparents are now my world but still, parents cannot be replaced by them. I miss my parents a lot” said Insha.

Insha is now preparing for NEET exams, with an aim to become a doctor. Fighting with all odds and barriers, she is hopeful that she will crack this exam.

It is pertinent to mention here that Insha is one of the huge group of girls who outshined boys by securing all the top positions in all four streams. Almost 58397 students had appeared in the examination.

There were instances of posthumous successes that forced families to relive the trauma. One such case was in Khanyar, where a promising boy after his examinations went for an outing and died of alleged drug overdose. Though all those accompanying the boy are in police custody, when the results were public, the mother of the deceased boy went to his grave with the marks sheet.

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