Not Physical Deformity, Official Apathy Ruins His Life

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“I want to be an independent man and earn living through fair means. After my father suffered a stroke few months back, I ensured milk business does not get affected,”

Aadil Sadiq

Image: Fayaz Ahmad Shergojiri

KULGAM: As Fayaz Ahmed Shergojri walks through the public places, he catches the attention of all around him. Perhaps Shergojri is the shortest man in Kashmir and his height has always been a topic for his friends and neighbours in his hometown in an informal conversations. But this has never let him down, in fact made his resolve stronger to move on in life like any other normal person.

He suffers from a neurological weakness and speech impairment as well.  

 “I have no grudges with what Allah has bestowed me. He is the best knower of things. I never feel bad about my short height but take it as a gift from Him. Feeling bad about it will mean challenging God’s will,” Fayaz says.

He, even never felt shy of his physical deformity especially when people keep glaring at him.

“Sometimes a thought strikes my mind and realize that I am physically abnormal person and unfit in the society. Immediately I look at those who are not able to see or walk and repent for all what I was thinking about. I put my head down in prostrate before Almighty for all this,” he says. 

 He runs a milk shop in Qaimoo after his father suffered a stroke and went bed ridden due to partial paralysis.

Fayaz volunteered himself to carry the burden of family and replaced his father at his milk shop.

“I want to be an independent man and earn living through fair means. After my father suffered a stroke few months back, I ensured milk business does not get affected,” he adds.

He is the eldest of all five siblings including three sisters and a brother.

Fayaz’s passion for learning and independent living is such that he every day crosses a distance of seven kms to make it to a computer cum tailoring center in Anantnag.

 “I spend three to four hours on shop both in morning and evening and during day time I go to learn computer and tailoring in Anantnag. I don’t want to be a burden on my parents but do something on my own. I believe in dignified life”.
Though many TV channels offered him the role in serials locally which could have supported his livelihood, Fayaz believes he is not meant for that and will continue to strive for means of income which suits his dignified life.

In fact he wants study but the official apathy plays a spoil sport in his dream. His hands and fingers are too short to allow him to write and many a times he sought the scribe to support him in exams. 

The denial of scribe has heavily caused dent to his career and so far three times he failed to complete the matriculation. 

“I appeared in class 10 exams thrice and every time failed. The reason for my failure in the exams is the weakness in my hand. I can hardly write for ten minutes continuously. My arm right from fingers to elbow starts aching within ten minutes of writing,” Fayaz said. 
He said that after his continuous failures in exams he approached board authorities seeking scribe but they refused clearly.

“I told them that being disabled it is my right to have a scribe who could write for me in exams but they did not listen. Had they allowed me scribe I would have completed my graduation also. One wonders how indifferent they can be towards the people with disabilities,” Fayaz rues. 

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