Kashmir teen blinded by pellets rejoices after clearing exam

Published: January 11, 2018
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Insha Mushtaq. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC

Insha Mushtaq. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC

Muzaffar Bhat tutoring Insha Mushtaq. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC Insha Mushtaq's mother congratulates her. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC Insha Mushtaq. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC

A 16-year-old Kashmiri girl, Insha Mushtaq hailing from Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) was blinded by pellets fired by the Indian Army in 2016 and has recently managed to clear an exam she appeared for.

The pellet fire resulted in the Mushtaq giving up her life-long ambition of studying medicine and she subsequently resorted to music.

“This is the happiest I have felt in a long time,” says Mushtaq, masked by the black sunglasses she wears, reports BBC.

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Her father, Mushtaq Ahmad Lone added that “this is no less than a miracle.”

“She has made all of us so proud. It’s a great achievement considering the trauma she had to go through.”

The horrific incident occurred on the evening of 11 July 2016 when she was hit by pellets after she opened one of the windows in her house and lost her vision for both the eyes.

The next three months were spent visiting hospitals with the hope of regaining her sight but it turned out to be unsuccessful.

“I wanted to study medicine but that won’t be possible now,” she said. “I have not decided what to do as an alternative”

However she appeared for her exam a year after the incident took place. An examination helper wrote the answers dictated by her.

Insha Mushtaq's mother congratulates her. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC

Insha Mushtaq’s mother congratulates her. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC

‘Face of a tragedy’

Mushtaq’s injuries have made her the face of a tragedy that sparked international outrage and labeled India as a perpetrator of atrocities in an illegally occupied state.

Indian security forces use pellet guns, a kind of shot gun made of rubber encased steel which are lethal for protestors.

These guns have killed dozens of people and injured more than 1500 others that include children and bystanders often caught in crossfire.

Mushtaq is among the hundreds who has lost their eyesight in these clashes.

The flashpoint between India and Pakistan is Kashmir that has sparked two wars between nuclear armed neighbours since independence. Both countries claim he reigion but only control portions of it.

Her injuries made the headlines when she lost vision in both her eyes.

“I choose to focus on my future,” she said after several rounds of unsuccessful surgeries.

“I faced a lot of difficulties when I started studying while recuperating at home,” she added.

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“”My teacher had to repeat everything at least four times for me to remember something. And still I would forget.”

“Sometimes she would get irritated and say she doesn’t want to study,” Muzaffar Bhat, her tutor, told the BBC.

Muzaffar Bhat tutoring Insha Mushtaq. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC

Muzaffar Bhat tutoring Insha Mushtaq. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC

“Then I would stop and talk to her about something else to relax her. I had to be more patient with her but she did well. She did really well. She passed the exams with sheer willpower and hard work.”

This article originally appeared on BBC

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