Life is not a bed of roses. And this is applicable to every human being in this world. Some face difficulties in their childhood, some face in their teenage and some face in their old age. At certain point in everybody’s life these difficulties do come. But how you face it shapes your destiny.
Ummul Kher born into a poor family with osteogenesis imperfecta which is a rare disease commonly known as fragile bone disorder, this girl’s determination to reach great heights is absolutely admiring.
Ummul Kher 28, from Rajasthan suffers from fragile bone disorder, a disease that causes weakening of bones making them vulnerable to frequent fractures. She has received 16 fractures and undergone eight surgeries till date. When she was in 5th standard, she moved to Delhi with her parents.
She later enrolled in Amar Jyoti Charitable trust to complete her STD 8. As she grew older, the challenges magnified.
“I wanted to study at Arwachin Bharti Bhawan Senior Secondary School as it had better infrastructure and I had got a scholarship,” she said.
But her parents were against it. They said if she studied any further they will sever ties with her.
“I was abused. My intentions were questioned because I wanted to study. It was the worst time. They said you now have more education than a girl should get,” she said.
When she was barely 14, Ummul Kher decided to live her life on her own and started taking tuitions to earn for survival. She rented a “jhuggi” in nearby slum where she could live without parents loathing her education.
“I had started taking tuitions but living independently meant I had to earn more money. From a few children the tuitions expanded to four batches — 3pm to 5pm, then from 5pm to 7pm, 7pm to 9pm and 9pm to 11 in the night. These were mostly the children from slum areas and I got between Rs 50-100 from each student. I couldn’t have expected more as these were children of labourers, iron smith, rickshaw-pullers etc.” said Ummul
A girl living alone that too with disability is not an easy task in this current world. Social security, daily chores, facing questioning gazes is highly difficult for a girl. But Ummul kept her focus on her studies and scored 91 percent in STD 12 and got admission in Gargi College, Delhi.
To fund her education, she continued to give tuitions. In 2012, she met with a small accident and was confined to a wheelchair for a year because of her bone disorder.
She started funding her education through the money she won in college debates.
“You can earn decent money as the prize amount is high in some college festivals. But here too, she could not participate in debates that were organized in evening as she had to take tuitions,” Ummul’s friend Abhishek Ranjan said.
Ummul cleared JNU entrance exam to do her master’s in International Studies and started receiving means-cum-merit scholarship of Rs. 2,000 every month. She stopped giving tuitions and dedicated more time to studies. She appeared for civil services exams and cleared one of the most difficult exams in India in her first attempt. With an all India rank of 420, she is hopeful to get IAS under disability quota.
She is yet to tell her family about her achievement.
On being asked if she will forgive her family for leaving her midway, she said, “I don’t blame them. They were brought up in an environment that shaped their thinking. It is not their fault,” she said. “I have not made a phone call yet as they don’t know what civil services mean. But I will visit them soon.”
Want an extraordinary determination? There are some people who have both health and wealth but still complain lot of things. With disability and with no support from parents, Ummul Kher set an example.
Nothing is impossible for a willing heart. Whatever the circumstances, the person with strong determination and will power moulds any situation to his favour. He/she takes such difficulties as challenges to create a beautiful future.
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