Insha Lost Her Vision To Pellets In Kashmir, Not Hope. Clears Class X Exam

For weeks after she was hit with pellets that pierced her eyes fired by security personnel, Insha had wondered if she would ever see again.

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Insha became the face of pellet gun tragedy in Kashmir


Srinagar:  Nearly 18 months after Insha Mushtaq became the face of Kashmir's pellet gun tragedy, the 15-year-old has come to symbolise hope and resilience in the Kashmir valley. Once aspiring to be a doctor, the girl was blinded by the pellet gun injuries she had received in the summer of 2016 but nevertheless continued her studies and qualified her class X board exams on Tuesday.

For weeks after she was hit with pellets that pierced her eyes fired by security personnel, Insha had wondered if she would ever see again. Her father initially told her she would, to keep her hopes alive. Then one day, he broke the news to her.

The teenager was devastated. She was just 14 and all that she had done, her family says, was to peer through the window at her home in Sadow village of Shopian district in south Kashmir. That is when a volley of pellets hit her in the face.

Insha had remained in hospitals in Srinagar and Delhi for months and was operated upon more than once.

For much of that time, the protests that had started after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani had continued on the streets of Kashmir.

By the end of it, it was estimated that more than 6,000 people had received injuries during the unrest including over a 1,000 who had eye injuries.

Outrage over the pellet guns also spilled over to Delhi and forced the government to come up with steps to minimise injuries and loss of life due to a weapon that was considered to be a non-lethal option.

Encouraged by a volunteer who offered to tuition her once she was back home, she resumed her studies and took the exams conducted in November last.

Her father Mushtaq Ahmad Lone said she cleared all the papers barring Maths and has been promoted to the next class.

"She is extremely happy and so are we. She could not concentrate on studies but has still qualified the exam," he said.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, also joined hundreds of others to congratulate the girl on social media. "A special shout out to young Insha who was blinded by pellets during the 2016 protests & has cleared her 10th exams today. May Allah keep rewarding your hard work & efforts," he tweeted.


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