From Impairment to Inspiration: Kashmir Siblings’ Outstanding Journey

From Impairment to Inspiration: Kashmir Siblings’ Outstanding Journey


Born blind in a distant south Kashmir village, it was the mom who ensured that her youngsters should examine. Now, PhD students, the youngest is flying to Scotland for additional research, studies Babra Wani

On the border between Shopian and Kulgam districts lies the unassuming village of Hanjan actually on the shortest highway connecting Anantnag with Shopian. On this seemingly routine apple village reside two exceptional siblings, Rohi and Aqib, who’ve battled visible impairment from start.

Now, of their mid-twenties, their incapacity has not hindered them from pursuing their goals. Rohi and Aqib are presently on their approach to acquiring a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) from Jawaharlal Nehru College (JNU). Rohi is immersed in her PhD journey in Schooling, whereas Aqib has chosen Worldwide Relations as his educational path. Remarkably, each have secured the Junior Analysis Fellowship (JRF) as properly.

Hanjan village boasts simply three PhD students, with Rohi and Aqib proudly holding two of those positions. Their dedication might be attributed to their resolute mom, who served as their driving drive.

Early Schooling

It was their aunt who first observed Rohi’s impairment at start. “However different members of the family laughed at her. Nobody believed it,” Rohi stated, “In these days, there was no ultrasound; so mainly, nobody may detect the defect after I was in my mom’s womb.” Born to Abdul Rehman Naikoo and Mahmooda Banu, the siblings have confronted 100 per cent visible impairment since start.

Rohi and Aqib
Rohi and Aqib are a specifically abled brother and sister who’re presently pursuing their PhDs

Born right into a household of 4, they needed to battle for his or her training. “No faculties, schools, and universities in Kashmir have the mandatory services. My mom tried quite a bit for my admission, she went to the closest faculties in our locality and tried to persuade them however all in useless,” Rohi defined. Echoing her, Aqib added, “Due to their scepticism about our capabilities and their educating strategies, they refused the admission to start with as a result of they argued that we didn’t know the way to train such youngsters.”

Lastly, Mahmooda talked to her father and requested him to persuade the administration. Happily, they agreed. Nevertheless, the college administration made it clear that they don’t have the services to satisfy the necessities.

Rohi’s admission paved the way in which for Aqib to affix the college and begin their instructional journey. She was 4 years outdated when she started attending college. “I began to take my examinations orally, which continued till I reached my eighth customary.” Their eighth customary marked a turning level of their lives. “Until then, the lecturers had been unaware of the idea of a scribe in examinations,” Aqib defined.

Rohi recalled her stunning incident at school. “The college provided me my qualification certificates with out the necessity for an examination, unaware of my want for a scribe,” she stated. “They despatched all the scholars, aside from me, to gather their paperwork, resembling Admit Playing cards. Once I discovered, I retreated to my room and wept profusely. It was then that I realised, for the primary time, I used to be totally different from them.”

After relentless efforts, Rohi efficiently appeared within the examination and excelled. Following her eighth grade, she enrolled in Military Goodwill Public College, positioned on a excessive floor not distant from their residence. “The scenario there was no totally different; there have been no services for disabled college students.” Quickly after, Aqib joined his sister after passing his eighth customary examinations.

In her tenth grade, Rohi encountered difficulties whereas finding out arithmetic. She expressed, “There was no expertise obtainable for us to simplify the complexities of arithmetic, which offered a problem not just for me but additionally for my mother and father.” However together with her wit and grit, she certified.

Following her tenth grade, she opted for social science topics and enrolled in Ladies Increased Secondary College, Yaripora.

Aqib recalled his college years. “The lecturers didn’t know the way to train us. So, we simply used to go to the courses and attend the courses like different college students. No particular consideration or examine materials was supplied to us by any means. We had been reliant on our cousins and classmates who recorded the solutions for us. We didn’t have entry to Braille, which we got here to find out about in 2014.”

Throughout Rohi’s time at Increased Secondary, Aqib, after passing his tenth grade, was enrolled in Authorities Boys Secondary College, Yaripora. “My enrolment within the boys’ secondary college was a turning level in my life,” Aqib stated. “It was there that I found accessible expertise, permitting me to make use of computer systems to entry and browse books.”

It was a instructor, Khurshid Ahmed, who mentored  Aqib. The struggles for the siblings continued, and their father assisted Rohi together with her commute to and from whereas Aqib loved extra freedom.

Upon finishing their larger secondary examinations, each siblings secured admission to Authorities Diploma Faculty, Kulgam. Rohi was lucky to find a detailed pal in her cousin’s sister, who occurred to be in the identical class, providing her invaluable companionship. In the meantime, Aqib, though equally decided, didn’t have the privilege of such companionship.

Following their commencement, Rohi launched into a journey of educational excellence by pursuing a Grasp’s diploma in Schooling on the College of Kashmir. In distinction, Aqib encountered his personal set of challenges throughout his undergraduate research and, as a result of limitations of the faculty infrastructure, determined to pursue his training from the consolation of his dwelling, the place he may higher handle his every day commitments.

Increased Schooling

Rohi was launched to the Nationwide Eligibility Check (NET) by way of a pal and launched into diligent preparations, counting on her pal’s help and academic sources obtainable on YouTube. Miraculously, she not solely handed the examination however excelled in it. Her brother, Aqib, took the initiative to enrol her at Jawaharlal Nehru College (JNU), the place Rohi’s educational journey took a exceptional flip.

In her journey at JNU, Rohi achieved one other vital milestone by qualifying for the Junior Analysis Fellowship (JRF) and commenced her PhD research. “I attribute my accomplishments to the blessings of Allah and the unwavering assist of my mother and father in addition to the collective effort of my brother and me, that we have now accomplished this arduous journey. All through my struggles, I obtained no exterior steering or assist from NGOs, organisations, associations, or instructional establishments.” Rohi asserted.

In distinction, Aqib launched into a distinct path, making ready for the UPSC exams following his commencement. Impressively, he aced the prelims in his very first try and made commendable progress in direction of passing the mains. Sadly, his journey was interrupted by the unexpected challenges posed by the Covid19 pandemic.

Upon a second try on the UPSC exams, Aqib determined to change his course. When he secured admission to JNU for a grasp’s programme in politics with a specialisation in Worldwide Relations (IR), he made the deliberate option to concentrate on his educational pursuits and put aside the UPSC journey.

For each, JNU is their haven. “Once I reached JNU, I realized about precise studying and writing. In my centre, each individual helps me perceive the way to learn and write. All the colleges perceive my downside,” Rohi stated. Aqib shared the identical sentiment, praising the college’s infrastructure for its assist and accessibility.

Following the profitable completion of his Grasp’s diploma, Aqib continued to excel academically, securing admission for his doctoral research, and incomes the Junior Analysis Fellowship (JRF). As an thrilling new chapter unfolds, in January 2024, he’ll set off on a brand new journey to Scotland to pursue one other Grasp’s diploma, totally funded by way of a scholarship granted by the Ministry of Social Justice, Authorities of India.

Household Assist

The unwavering assist and power of their mom have been the cornerstone of the siblings’ success. “She persistently believed in our talents and handled us similar to every other youngsters. Her message was clear: no matter others can obtain, so can we. She by no means wavered on this perception,” affirmed each siblings.

Additionally they expressed deep gratitude for his or her father, highlighting his unwavering presence and steady assist, each when it comes to funds and emotional well-being. “He’s all the time been there for us,” they acknowledged.

Along with their instructional endeavours, their mother and father additionally performed a big position in imparting invaluable spiritual data, instilling a holistic basis that goes past educational accomplishments.


Rohi expressed deep gratitude to her cousin, who performs an important position in aiding her with travelling, enabling her to pursue her ambitions. Remarkably, each siblings have harnessed the facility of expertise and devices independently, showcasing their self-sufficiency and self-reliance. An intriguing and distinctive facet of their talents is their shared culinary abilities; each are expert cooks.

Rohi fondly recalled her mother and father’ concern after they had been youngsters, usually grappling with emotional worries about how their lives would unfold. Nevertheless, with willpower and resilience, they’ve now overcome these challenges, and an enthusiastic Rohi proclaimed, “We’ve got come a good distance, and we’re each right here, thriving.”

Rohi additionally make clear the prevailing lack of know-how about disabilities and the related rights in Kashmir. “People with any type of impairment face vital challenges in our area. Not one of the departments appeared to be well-informed about our disabilities,” Rohi stated. “We encountered hurdles not solely throughout the instructional sector but additionally throughout numerous different domains. Individuals usually battle to understand the way to successfully work together with somebody with a incapacity. Furthermore, throughout examinations, officers have persistently did not implement the mandatory reservations as mandated by the regulation.”

Aqib mirrored on their household’s esteemed popularity, which shielded them from outright bullying. Nevertheless, he acknowledged the presence of passing feedback as part of their expertise.

Aqib stated that the way in which society perceives incapacity is distinct. He defined that of their society or the village the place he resides when there have been discussions about their future throughout their childhood, individuals would usually contend that as a result of their lack of ability to see the world, their prospects appeared grim. “Even when we had been pursuing training, it was believed that we might not totally profit from our research and would find yourself counting on others.”

The society’s notion of incapacity, he believes “was and continues to be very detrimental.” Aqib talked about that in Kashmiri society, people with disabilities are sometimes seen as one thing distinctive, who’re bestowed with God’s blessings. “I don’t imagine that you’re blessed when part of your physique is taken away,” he asserted.

Aqib dislikes the discourse round incapacity inside Kashmiri society. Even newspapers carry some objects on particular dates. “I imagine that there needs to be, on the very least, one information merchandise or op-ed every month addressing the issues of people with disabilities,” he asserted.

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