Silchar, January 5, 2021
As stated by Stephen Hawking in the first-ever ‘World Disability Report’ in 2011, disability has never been an obstacle for those who are determined to lead a happy and fulfilling life. Hawking himself is an example, who, despite being tied to a chair and unable to speak properly, has established himself as the greatest theoretical scientist of the present century. Our own Barak Valley has many such inspiring personalities. One of them is a young woman of 21 from Udharbond, Silchar.
Afsara Khanam Barlaskar has been living a life sans sound and words since it’s beginning. Born with such disabilities, Afsara has struggled to find her place in society and life since childhood. But acceptance from her family and their never-ending support has helped her to rise above all obstacles and today she is a confident and very much capable farmer working side by side with her father, Luthur Rahman Barlaskar.
Unable to pursue a secondary education because of poor financial conditions, Afsara started accompanying her father to the fields every day. Praised by her father for always being a bright child, she was able to learn every method and skill after a single lesson. Despite being unable to hear or speak, last year she planted a pumpkin crop all by herself and was rewarded with plentiful yields. The Deputy Commissioner of Cachar district visited her last month and was full of praise for her endurance and conviction. She was recognized by the Department of Agriculture for her successful yield of Arjuna variety of pumpkin crop.
The story of Afsara Barlaskar is an inspiration to all. Her motivation towards living a normal life despite being denied certain abilities is an example of victory over fate. Handicapped people are storehouses of talent. Many of them have and are achieving their desired goals. They, too, are capable of doing the tasks we do; just that they have their own way of doing it. They should not be undermined by anyone or in any way. It is certainly not pity and sympathy they need or crave, it is acceptance and guidance that they truly appreciate. Life without certain senses can be tough but with fierce determination and a resolved heart, one can surely achieve success and happiness in life.
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