A girl who named courage

A river flows down in its course, in its own minds.
Created at hills or mountains, it flows down and on its way continually gets obstructed through stones, soil, mud. Sometimes it cuts through the obstacles, sometimes its course is changed by the hill and land mass like obstacles. Stones are changed to boulders, boulder to gravel by the free flowing river and carried through.
Human life is like the river. After creation, in our course of life we come under the influence of several factors. Every single day, every single hour, every single moment human life is subjected to external influences. Some of these factors acts as catalyst, changes our life but they remain intact. Some of these factors acts as reagent, changes our life but in the process also undergo a change themselves. Influences of some factors are so crucial that our course of life is itself diverted, or sometimes these factors are modified.
We are talking about “factors”. Factors can be human or non human. From our very childhood, these factors start to influence us. As we grow older, our role in society including in our family, continues to change. Accordingly, nature and importance of these factors continue to change. But one thing is certain; in our whole course of life these factors teach us the lesson of life, molding our life, giving it a new direction, a new horizon.
I can talk about myself. My first such “factors” are obviously my mom and my dad. On those days, we used to live with our paternal uncles. In a big complex family, my mom was subjected to critical evaluation, hundred criticizing eyes watching her every move. But in spite of such not so favourable criticism, she always used to have a smiling face, always having an all out effort to satisfy every member of the family. To me she is an epitome of tolerance and to be frank, a hint of tolerance that I show sometimes in these turbulent disturbing days is taught by the lady. On the other hand my father is one who always gives his cent percent honest effort to perform any work. To be honest, most of the times his efforts ends in failure, but nobody can question the honesty and determination in the effort. I am not going to comment anything whether I have learnt that lesson from him or not, otherwise my close acquaintances may sue me for telling a lie. As I grew older, more and more such factors started to influence my course of life. For instance, while traveling to a hilly station Palamou, I discovered a banyan tree, standing all alone on a stony heap. Believe me, there was no trace of soil or water nearby. But its roots are widespread, so deep rooted bursting their way through the stone, that at first to me it looked like Shylock, the money lender who can go to any depth to realize his money. But when I thought it over deeply, the tree seemed to me a champion of will power, teaching me the passion of life, how to survive in the toughest condition for the battle of existence. Countless examples are there. Robinson Crusoe taught me to love life. Maria, in the movie sound of music taught me how to get happy in the most miserable of conditions. Life goes on and so is the list.
Now I am a teacher of History in a high school. Tons of such influence is poured upon me everyday. While evaluating answer scripts of my students, zenith of imagination is reached by them. My colleagues are gurus of gossiping. But today I’m going to tell about somebody, who taught me a very important lesson of life-the lesson of courage.
She is synonymous with determination and courage to me .Human life can reach any heights and conquer any type of obstacle provided the person facing it has the endeavour and right spirit. Even today when my moment of despair appears, I get the strength to face the life, just recollecting her memory.
She is Nadira, a little girl of ten years old, when she took admission in our school at fifth standard. The day she was admitted to the school, I was supervising the admission procedure. That was also the first year of my teaching career. I was shocked to notice her, a little playful girl and both her palms and fingers were missing. Under the fundamental constitutional right of education, she couldn’t be denied admission to be taught at per with normal child and she was admitted in our school.
“But how did this happen?”- I asked her mother.
“Paddy was being boiled in the fireplace. She was playing with her twin sister, lost her balance and caught fire. Then she was eighteen years old. We couldn’t afford a good doctor. The doctor who treated her treated wrongly and both her palms had to be amputed”- confessed her mother.
I shivered imagining the scene, but the girl seemed cheerful.
Nadira hailed from a marginalized minority community. So they couldn’t afford a special education school for the differently abled child. Incidentally, I was her class teacher. On her first day in my class, I watched with amazement how swiftly she writes, holding the pen in between both the stems of her forehand. I looked at her hand writing, it was so graceful that even a normal child will be proud to produce.
“But it’s painful, isn’t it Nadira”-I once asked her.
“When I’d started writing with slates and sticks, it consumes a lot of my effort. I easily got tired and was very painful. But now it seems ok”- answered Nadira, with an innocent smile.
She is hailed from a first generation learner family, and in her family nobody is able to help her with her study .but she is somebody not to give up so easily. In a developing country like India, the teacher student ratio is sometimes as high as 1:60.naturally.it’s not possible for a teacher to provide student by student personal attention, in spite of her best efforts. In the spare time of teachers, she used to come to teacher’s room to clear up her stumbling blocks. Her sweet nature and zeal compelled every teacher to devote personal attention to Nadira.
She had no inferiority complex whatsoever. Her all-round ability not only in the study field, but also in sports arena and cultural contests are enviable even to normal kids. Came the tenth standard Board examination and she scored very high marks, ranking tenth among all students who appeared for the examination from the school. After that, she continued her endeavour, and sat for the twelfth standard board examination. She was shocked when the results were declared. She was declared unsuccessful due to her failure in English.when her scripts were reviewed it was observed that the evaluator overlooked a part of her script and eventually she passed with flying colours. She got a Government scholarship meanwhile and got admitted in a prestigious college for her graduation. During the course of time she got a diploma in computer application.
She was my student, but still she is my “guru”. To me her journey of life is a story of courage, hope and determination. Coming from an unprivileged family, struggling against all odds, she is on her way to reach new heights. She proved that disability exists merely in mind and with strong will force the world can be at your feet. She proved that however fragile the life is, it is indomitable.
For persons like Nadira, the world is worth living.

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