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Blind Kashmiri Girl Insha Lone, Who Became the Face of Pellet Horror, Clears Class 10 Exam

The 16-year-old, who comes from a small village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, was blinded a year-and-half ago after multiple pellets perforated both her eyes.

Mufti Islah | CNN-News18

Updated:January 11, 2018, 1:23 PM IST
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Srinagar: Leaving behind her handicap and trauma, Insha Mushtaq – the girl whose wounded face sparked an outcry against the use of pellet guns in Kashmir – has scripted success in her Class 10 board examination.

The 16-year-old, who comes from a small village in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, was blinded a year-and-half ago after multiple pellets perforated both her eyes. But she pulled herself together and cleared the exams. She would need to rewrite her Math paper in a few months but can join Class 11 in the meantime.

On July 12, 2016, she was observing the fresh clashes between protesters and armed forces in the streets after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani from the window of her room when the pellets fired to quell the stir hit her. Her life changed in that instant for no fault of hers.

The pellets ruptured the retina and optic nerve of her eyes. Insha made the rounds of several hospitals within the state and outside for months and underwent many surgeries but could not regain her eyesight.

Although she has recovered now, she has become dependent on others to move around.

In March last year, when her school reopened after the winter holidays and long protests, she decided to take tuitions and walked up to her school with her friends and a cousin. She said she was having mood swings and felt lonely even when friends were around.

She took a few psychiatric sessions to regain confidence and gradually pulled herself together and managed to stage a comeback. She took the class 10 examinations with the help of an assistant this winter.

Her father, Mushtaq Ahmad Lone, said she cleared all the papers barring Math and has been promoted to the next class. “She is extremely happy and so are we. She can now concentrate on studies but has still qualified the exam, although she has to reappear in Math,” a visibly excited Lone told News18.

“Life will never be same for her but the entire village and Kashmir wants their daughter to see her excel in studies and life,” he said, adding, “We are elated with the kind of support people have offered. The family is getting congratulatory messages and people - some of whom we have seen first time - are pouring at our house to congratulate her.”

Lone said she would take tuitions at home every day during which her teacher would read aloud to help her memorise the lessons.

Among her many admirers was former chief minister Omar Abdullah, who took to Twitter congratulate her. “A special shout out to young Insha who was blinded by pellets during the 2016 protests & has cleared her 10th examinations today. May Allah keep rewarding your hard work & efforts,” he wrote.

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| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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