A moment of happiness dawned on the family of 14-year old pellet victim Insha Mushtaq after she qualified the matriculation examination Tuesday. The results brought cheer to the family which had lived through times of remorse after she was blinded by pellets while watching protests during the uprising of 2016 from the window of her house.
Insha’s father, Mushtaq Ahmed Lone, shared his joy while saying, “She fared good in examinations. Her performance will motivate her to study more.”
Insha said that she was guided by her three tutors who would come to her house every day and read out lessons from the books. “I would record the lessons. Later on, I would play the lessons many times to memorize the lessons,” Insha said. A clerical error brought down her aggregate marks and in mathematics her score was reflected as zero.
In addition to the tutors, she would attend school on some days. She said, “I would frequently forget my lessons. It was also hard to concentrate but I didn’t give up.”
The difficulties didn’t stop her from achieving the first step to realize her dreams. “My dream was to be a doctor. After I was injured, I thought my dream will never come true but now I feel I have crossed the first level towards it.”
Insha is optimistic and wants to study further. “I have keen interest in medicine,” she said.
During examinations Insha was accompanied by a girl, selected by examination authority, who wrote her papers.
“It was pretty difficult to read out the answers. At least I was allowed to take exams,” she said.
In 2017, when schools were opened after the vacations, she too joined her school but couldn’t continue. “I felt bad when I joined the school and it got difficult as I couldn’t see things.”
On 12 July 2016, Insha had suffered serious injuries when government forces fired pellets towards the window of her house where she was watching protests. The pellets had ruptured the retina and optic nerve of her eyes, blinding her in both eyes. Apart from it, she suffered from brain hemorrhages and skull fractures.
In February last year, Insha was taken to All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital Mumbai for her treatment and other hospitals as well for brain infection and surgeries.
After several surgeries, she retained some vision in her left eye but her right eye was completely damaged.
Omar Abdullah, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir expressed his joy for Insha through his tweet on a social networking site, Twitter.
He tweeted, “A special shout out to young Insha who was blinded by pellets during the 2016 protests & has cleared her 10th exams today. May Allah keep rewarding your hard work & efforts.”
Giving credit of her success to her parents and teachers, she said, “I am thankful to Allah who helped me through my teachers and parents.”