‘We Are Privileged, Not Handicapped’

Riyaz Bhat

SRINAGAR

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The visually-impaired students Wednesday turned up in Press Enclave for creating public awareness that these specially-abled children are ‘special’ and can do any task.

“I was asked to leave the school in 2006 when I was studying in 5th standard. The school officials of Kreeri Sheespora Baramulla told me only normal students can study here and we cannot teach a student like you and shunt me out of school,” said Danish Ahmad Mir of Baramulla.

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The visit was arranged by an NGO National Association for Blind.

The NGO’s general secretary Javaid Ahmed told Kashmir Life that today’s visit wasn’t meant to protest or demand anything but to create public awareness that “these blind children are ‘special’ and can do any task”.

“I was thrown out of the school office when I ask the concerned school officials that I want admission in the Yekmanpora Middle school of Baramulla,” said Shabir Ahmad, another visually-impaired student. “The officials said that this is not a charity school where you will get treated for your blindness.” It was then, he said, the NGO came to his rescue.

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“These kids can become asset to the society provided we shun our approach that these people are disabled,” said Javaid, whose NGO provide special skills and guidance to these kids for becoming ‘self reliant’.

An 8-year-old kid Zamein Noor from north Kashmir’s Hajin not only charmed onlookers during public campaign, but also created ‘emotional stir’ with his speech: “I am privileged but not handicapped.”

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