“My mother and my teachers are my pole stars, I will achieve the impossible for them!”
Shabana Yasmin, Class III, Satya Bharti School, Dhalsa, West Bengal
Eight year old Shabana Yasmin, comes from an underprivileged family living in the remote village of Dhalsa in West Bengal. She contracted a rare nerve disease that left her with severe mobility impairment, making even basic hand-eye coordination a formidable task. At the age of four Shabana stopped responding to treatment, the Doctors too lost all hope. With a meagre income, her father, Alauddin Mullick, who also suffers from paralysis of one leg; could ill afford to pay for her continued treatment. Shabana often faced ridicule in the community, turning her into an uncooperative and unhappy child. She was completely dependent on her Mother, Laila Bibi, for her daily needs and she knew that her daughter needed a caring environment that was empathetic to her condition. Laila’s search for a better future for Shabana, brought her to Satya Bharti School in the remote village of Dhalsa in West Bengal.
The Satya Bharti Teachers welcomed Shabana with open arms and hearts. With a focus on the education of the girl child, the teachers were well equipped to support the special needs of Shabana. A caring environment at home and the consistent support in school proved to be a boon for young Shabana.
From a five year old girl who could who could barely hold a pencil, eat meals on her own or even talk coherently; today, in less than three years Shabana has gained mastery over her physical condition and has conquered the demons that threatened to swallow her reason and intellect. She nurtures a dream which will allow her to break the shackles of her condition and become an English teacher, earning the respect of every member in her community.
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