VALLEY ONLINE – WE MEAN TRUTH
Overshadowing hardships Wazira Bi never looked back
By || Hamid Hashmi
Disability is off two types –disability of minds and physical, some are healed who stays in Jari Wali Gali, Mendhar block, Poonch district, Jammu has made us to believe that there is no place for this word “Disabled”.
Fighting all odds Wazira Bi is an inspiration for every woman how to become independent in spite of losing one leg.
When she was just 16 years old her leg was amputated and while later her one hand became useless for any work.
We all must be thinking what tragedy must have stuck her when Wazira Bi was merely in her teenage.
No one can think about the pain she must have gone through at a very young age.
Here she recalls her painful journey that as an eight year old girl an unnamed illness took hold of her, playing itself out over several years and ultimately resulting in her present wretchedness.
Further she remembers that it all began after something she ate at a dinner outside with her uncle and with this prolonged illness incapacitated her and made her disabled forever.
The entire family of Wazira Bi was snapped with this jolt as their energy and resources completely vanquished.
To pay her medical expenses her father had to sell his fields and cattle but to no vail.
Emotinally driven Wazira Bi remembers that, things got worse with each passing day and we were even force to ask for donations.
In sheer desperation, the family turned to Hazrat Babaji Lakhi, an ascetic and faith healer in the area.
Further with moist eyes she recalls how his cure seemed to work wonders and remembers with joy how she walked miracusly after the treatment from his place.
Certainly she kept fine but the joy of walking was just for a time being when major tragedy stuck when her mother died, leaving her quiet bereft and in this tragedy again her health started deteriorating and her old illness surfaced again, this time with more retribution.
She lapsed into coma and for three months her family members were anguish with kind of treatment.
They again went to Hazrat Babaji Lakhi but this time he refused to treat her as he was angry that she flouted his strict directions not to attend funerals or be in proximity to dead body.
With his rejection, her family with no choice had to go back to the hospital with new hope that she will be fine but nothing happened.
Sadly her condition got worsened and in 1994, the doctors had to take harsh decision to amputate her leg, with this revelation Wazira Bi and her family members world had stopped.
Life lay before her but amidst her sorrow the young girl knew that she had to pick up the pieces.
In this crucial juncture in her life, she decided to take up knitting which she had learned some time ago and with she completed her internship in 1995 at the Social Welfare Department in place called Surankote.
However her travails were far from over.
In 1995, her father passed away, leaving the adolescent girl, when she was just 18 years old alone in the world.
Life didn’t show mercy on this young girl as she faced onslaught of sickness, of diminishing resources and facing death of close family was relentless.
Despite her tragedy which life gave her she didn’t give up and gave a tough fight and completed her internship in embroidery as well in 1996 as she knew that if she wants to her bread butter she has to earn.
Her monthly disability pension fetched her only Rs 60 per month and so she picked up a number of odd jobs.
She struggled in this way till 2002, when the local MLA Shri Javed Ahmed Rana became aware of her case and was moved by her plight and to help her to join an NGO, Rahat Charitable and Social Welfare Foundation at Mendhar.
Wazira Bi got a job at their centre to teach girls embroidery, Knitting and sewing.
She notes with a sense of pride, “When I joined, none of the girls knew how to use the sewing machine and today they know. “with a smiling face she told Valley Online that life has little improved.
Furthermore in the year 2007 Wazira Bi got married but here also life became harsh on her as her married life turned out to be a troubled one.
Her husband was an alcoholic and after bearing with his drunken bouts and misbehaviour and after lot of tolerance she decided to give him divorce within one year of their marriage.
Her troubles were not over as yet how fate can be so cruel we can see from her life story and centre in which she was working had shut down in 2011, leaving her jobless.
What has been striking is that despite the hard life, despite the personal and professional travails and despite life giving her blow back to back she didn’t gave up.
She turns out to be fighter with true spirit giving life a tough fight.
Her struggles led her to have faith in herself, to develop an unshakable confidence in a quiet peace.
She has been able to find ways to remain occupied and carve her life and she did it gracefully leaving her tears behind.
She stated that ”Even though I am disabled, I earn my living because of my creativity and capability…
She believes that to earn ones livelihood and lead an independent life is within reach of all-despite all odds.
This is her life’s message to everyone who suffers on account of disability.
The author is a Student of Law School, University of Jammu.