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Mother’s faith sees visually-impaired Qurat become teacher

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, July 17: Born with a rare genetic disorder, Qurat-ul-Ain (26) presents a living demonstration of how perseverance can turn a person, who is medically unfit to study, into a teacher.
At three years of age, Qurat was diagnosed with Retinitis pigmentosa, a rare, genetic disorder that involves breakdown and loss of cells in the retina. Doctors advised her mother not to let her study.
However, her mother remained steadfast, holding onto her belief that Qurat would make it through the visual disability.
And her unflinching support has yielded results: Qurat now teaches computer science to visually-impaired students at the Special Education Needs School (SEN) of Delhi Public School, Athwajan.
Hailing from Srinagar’s Sonwar area, the tall and round-faced Qurat has a rich and resonant voice.

The warm smile on her face remains fixed as she narrates her ordeal with the vision loss.
“I was enrolled in a school close to my home. I could barely read anything written on the blackboard. Even while attending mathematics class, I solved sums in my imagination. While writing exams, I took a lot to time to write my answers which resulted in low score,” she said.
Qurat was often bullied by her classmates for wearing big spectacles but she didn’t let that affect her schooling. Her parent’s constant support always helped her bounce back.
“Kids are insensitive by nature and you can’t blame them for it. I was mocked for my weird looking glasses but I didn’t lose heart. I would still talk to them,” she said.
After completing her schooling, Qurat’s gifted voice came to her rescue. She graduated in Music and Fine Arts from University of Kashmir.
“Music became my expression. It made me believe that my vision is still intact,” said Qurat
The course of true love didn’t run smooth for Qurat. This musical path was also filled with myriad hurdles. Her inability to walk without aid made her suffer.
“I vividly remember one afternoon from University days. We were rehearsing for an event in the backstage when an announcement for refreshment was made. All my friends went outdoors leaving me behind. I wept copiously. My immobility made me realise I cannot rely on others in the future,” she said.
A couple of days later, University held several workshops for the specially-abled children. Qurat saw the opportunity and decided to join it.
“The University’s special cell under DSW organised some technology related workshops in which they taught the disabled students how to use gadgets like laptops and mobile phones. I never knew that this little opportunity would turn out be a game changer for me,” she said.
With the help of this workshop, Qurat got acquainted with the world of computers. This was followed by intense sessions of learning. Today, she uses various devices with good proficiency in English and Braille.
“Last year a job offer from DPS came my way, and here I am. Helping and teaching people with disabilities overcome their fears gives me the utmost satisfaction. I have been there and no-one can understand it better than me,” said Qurat.
The resilient teacher, however, believes that the life of disabled people is filled with numerous challenges to go less societal acceptance.
“Walking around with a stick is looked down upon in our society. Many fear the social pressure and refuse to come out using it. Besides, there are very few schools for specially-abled people. Friendly spaces in various institutions and public places are even less,” she said.
Qurat urges the government to create more opportunities for specially-abled people through projects of mass awareness.
“The world should treat them as equals. If there are sincere efforts, you will see the disabled people making contributions in the same manner as others do,” she said.

 
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Lethpora bombing accused among 2 militants, soldier killed

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Srinagar, Jun 18: An Army soldier and two militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit including one accused of providing the car used in February 14 Lethpora suicide attack were Tuesday killed in an encounter in Bijbehera area of Anantnag district.

A police spokesperson said that on a credible input, a cordon and search operation was launched jointly by police and security forces at Marhama, Bijbehara.

He said as the operation was going on, the hiding militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter, he said.

 

In the exchange of fire with the militants, one Army soldier Rifleman Anil Jaswal, sustained gunshot injuries. He was evacuated to the hospital where he succumbed, said the spokesperson.“In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The killed militants have been identified as Sajad Ahmad Bhat and Tawseef Ahmad Bhat both residents of Marhama, Bijbehara,” the spokesperson said.

DGP, Dilbag Singh said: “Sajad was involved in turning his car into an IED in February 14 blast.

As per the spokesperson, both the killed militants were affiliated with militant outfit JeM and “were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of crimes including attacks on security establishments…”

According to the police records, Sajad was wanted in Lethpora blast in which over 40 CRPF personnel were killed earlier this year.
“As per the material evidence collected during the course of investigation, it was learnt that Maruti Eco vehicle used for carrying out the blast in Lethpora was owned by Sajad Bhat of Marhama. As the news of Sajad’s involvement spread, he escaped and joined JeM,” said the spokesperson.

“A picture of Sajad carrying AK-47 rifle was also circulated on social media announcing his joining the outfit. Pertinently, Tawseef played a key role in recruiting of Sajad to the militant ranks,” he added.

“Both of them were part of groups involved in planning and executing series of attacks in the area. Several crime cases were registered against them. Some of the crime cases registered against Sajad include case FIR No 16/2018 and case FIR No 28/2019 pertaining to Lethpora attack. Cases registered against Tawseef include case FIR No 95/2018,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, after conducting all legal formalities, police handed over the militants’ bodies to their respective families for last rites.
Reports and eyewitnesses said that thousands of people attended their funeral at Marhama.
Tuesday’s was the second gunfight in the district in as many days.

On Monday, a militant and an Army man were killed in a gunfight at Bidoora Achabal.

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Pulwama IED blast:Two Army personnel succumb

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Srinagar, Jun 18: Two Army personnel, who were injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast at Arihal village in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district Monday, succumbed to their injuries on Tuesday.
Srinagar-based defence spokesman said that two army men “with severe contusions/concussions were brought to Army’s 92 base hospital in Srinagar for treatment.”
“The duo succumbed to their injuries while undergoing treatment in 92 Base Hospital,” the spokesman said.
On Monday, at least a dozen soldiers suffered injuries when an IED which was fitted in a car hit the Hardened ALS vehicle of Army patrolling the area.
Two civilians also sustained injuries in the explosion.

Student’s body found near Achabal encounter site
Monitor News Bureau
Srinagar, Jun 18: Day after the Monday encounter, body of a civilian was found near the encounter site at Bidoora, Aknigam area of Achabal in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
Local residents said that body of Nasir Ahmad Mir (23) son of Fayaz Ahmad Mir of Check Achabal was found by people adjacent to the encounter site at Bidoora Tuesday morning.
Police reached the spot and took the body for post-mortem and other legal formalities.
Nasir, according to locals, was 1st year student at Degree College Anantnag.
On Monday, a militant and an Army man were killed in a gunfight at Bidoora.
Meanwhile, as soon as the news about Nasir’s death spread in the area, shops and other business establishments closed down while transport was off the roads.

 
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2 dead, at least 6 injured as boat capsizes in Lidder; probe ordered; aggrieved Guv announces ex-gratia

Rafting c’ship in Rouf’s name ends in another tragedy

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar, Jun 18: A rafting championship Tuesday turned tragic in Pahalgam when two people died in an incident of boat capsize.

The championship was organized in honour of Rouf Ahmad Dar, the tourist guide who lost his life while saving five tourists in Lidder stream earlier this month.

The deceased include an employee of the tourism department and a participant who died after their boat capsized in the gushing waters.

 

Reports said that the boat carrying the employee namely Rinku Raja and the female participant namely Sanjna from Jammu along with at least five others, capsized in fast-flowing river.

The incident happened at 4.10 pm after the conclusion of the Rouf Memorial State Rafting Championship event. The 3-day event began on Monday, in which 12 teams from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh participated.

Soon after the incident, a joint team of SDRF, police and local volunteers managed to rescue all of them. They were shifted to the nearby hospital where doctors declared Rinku and Sanjna as brought dead.

Reports quoted BMO Sallar, Dr Shakeel Ahmad saying that both the persons were brought dead while “six others” were injured.

“While five have been admitted one seriously injured person was referred to Srinagar hospital for specialized treatment,” the report said.

Commissioner Secretary Tourism, Rigzin Samphel said that boat capsized in Lidder and injured were shifted to hospital.

On May 31, last month, Rouf Dar saved five tourists, two of them foreigners, after their boat capsized in fast flowing river Lidder near Mawoora area of Pahalgam.

Unfortunately, Dar lost his life in an act of bravery which is being hailed by people and the administration.

Tourism Department Kashmir announced an inquiry into the accident.

The department has expressed deep regrets over the incident and expressed sympathies with the bereaved families.

Meanwhile, Governor Satya Pal Malik has expressed profound grief over the loss of precious lives in the incident.

Governor has prayed for peace to the departed souls and strength to the bereaved families in their hour of grief. He has wished speedy recovery to the injured.

He announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those dead and has directed the authorities to ensure best possible medical treatment of the injured.

Expressing concern over accidents occurring during the adventure sport of Rafting in river Lidder, Governor has issued directions that strict safety measures should be taken before indulging in this sport and emphasised the need for allowing only trained manpower in managing all the activities related to it.

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