Turning obstacles into opportunities : The Tribune India

Turning obstacles into opportunities

Kajal, who with 90 per cent disability, aims to join civil services

Turning obstacles into opportunities

Good Samaritan Romesh Mahajan with Kajal Kumari.

Tribune News Service

Ravi Dhaliwal

Gurdaspur, August 14

For the last 18 years of her life, she has been turning obstacles into challenges and opportunities into victories. Her story, in essence, is all about the triumph of the human spirit.

Just short of 4 feet, 90 per cent congenitally disabled Kajal Kumari is a BCA-1 student of Government college, Gurdaspur. Notwithstanding the odds she has faced in the past, or will have to face in the future, she has started preparing for the UPSC examination. Her guide is Amrit Pal Kaur, a Gurdaspur born UP-based IAS officer.

The UPSC has reserved several categories in which handicapped can compete. She is focusing on two of them — locomotor disability and orthopaedically handicapped — to help her sail through.

Kajal, all of 35 kg, needs assistance 24x7. Her uncle Raj Kumar has been carrying her in his arms for the last nearly two decades. Not a day passes when he is not with her. That, in itself, is a highly laudable feat. The two have developed a special bonding over the years.

She cleared her Class XII exam by securing 94 per cent marks. Her teachers were as stunned as were her parents.

A Good Samaritan Romesh Mahajan is taking care of her studies. He was the one who ‘spotted’ her during a district-level painting competition in 2008. Egged on by him, she went to New Delhi where she won a prize in an Indian Council for Child Welfare-sponsored painting meet.

She keenly follows the life and times of an IAS officer Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj, who was born with one leg. Kajal was the “happiest girl in the world” watching Yathiraj win the silver medal in the badminton event of 2021 Tokyo Paralympics.

Her father Narinder Kumar says his tiles business was floundering before she was born. “However, after she came into this world, the income from my business has been sharply increasing every year. When God snatches something with one hand, he is benevolent enough to give with the other,” he said.

“I possess an intense desire to do those things, which people do not expect me to do. Actually, my disability has opened my eyes to see my true abilities. Once I accepted my limits, I had a strong urge to go past them,” says Kajal.

The young girl’s story is all about proving her ability is greater than her disability.

#Gurdaspur

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