‘After passing class 10, I lost complete eye-sight, remained silent for 8 years, a radio program changed my life forever, my dad become my real strength’
Umaisar Gull Ganie
Anantnag, July 21 : Kashmir has so many success stories but this one is quite different. Meet 40-year-old man from South Kashmir’s Anantnag district, who lost his eye-sight completely soon after passing his class 10 exams. After eight years of utter disappointment, he listened to an interview of a visually impaired person on the radio, and decided to re-start his studies and today he is an Assistant Professor and one of the best teachers for his students.
Tariq Bashir Khan son of Bashir Ahmad Khan, a resident of village Andoora in Shangus, Nowgam belt of Anantnag district, who was born with an eye disease—retinal degeneration, lost his complete vision when he passed his class 10 exams. “Till class 10, I would at least see things though my vision was not 100 percent accurate, but somehow I would manage it. I had consulted top opthamologists of Kashmir and there was only one word for me from that I will loose my eyesight forever and there is no treatment to it in the world,” said Tariq, 40, in an exclusive interview with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO)
Tariq faced immense challenges, hardships and even had a close shave with the death, after loosing the eye-sight completely. “In 1995, I passed my class 10 exam and left studies mid-way and entire world turned dark before me. I couldn’t see anything,” he said. “For eight years, I lived a life of a blind man and with no hope anywhere in sight. But my father never let me down and instead raised my home and an interview of a man who was brought as a guest in a radio program, changed my life again and for good. I thought, if he could do it, why not me.”
He said he came to know that there was a lot for the people who aren’t able to see. “My father told me I can do it too. “Though I was 26, I decided to go ahead. I started studying for class 11 and passed my class 12th in 2004 with 66 per cent marks,” Tariq said.
Later, Tariq joined Govt Degree College boys Anantnag and completed his bachelor’s degree in Arts in year 2006 with first division. “I got admission in an open merit category in history subject at University of Kashmir,” he said. “In my journey to success, my small tape-recorder played a big role.”
In 2009, he qualified preliminary examination of Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) but was not allowed by public service commission (PSC) to sit in the KAS mains examination for not being able to provide him a helper or brail facility. “They told me there was no provision for visually impaired people. I lost the opportunity to join the civil service,” he said.
Tariq qualified National Eligibility Test (NET) and State level Eligibility test (SLET). “This became a morale booster for Khan to qualify the screening and interview for the post of lecturer at higher secondary level conducted by PSC,” he said. “First, I was appointed as teacher for about one year and later lecturer after cracking the PSC examination in open merit and was posted in a government higher secondary school in my area (Anantnag).”
However, the then director school education and the principal of the higher secondary school was apprehensive about his ability to teach and Tariq was denied permission to join the school and was re-adjusted in DIET Anantnag. “In year 2016, I got selected as Assistant Professor in History in an open merit and at present I am teaching normal students GDC Utersoo, Anantnag,” Tariq told KNO, wearing a gentle smile on his face.
He thanked his friends and family for getting all the required study material and helping him a lot in College, University and at other places. “In my road to success, my father was a great inspiration. He would understand lessons, read out study material, record the same and then I would listen to the same. This indeed was a great support.”
He said that success stories must be highlighted as it inspires others. “I had a very hard struggle at different levels to achieve something,” said Tariq. “My message would be loud and clear for all disabled persons that they can achieve anything if they work hard and have a will power to do anything.”