In the beginning Mudasir Shaban did not bother or worry, when he was bullied at school for his short stature. But, soon this bullying became constant, and that is when Mudasir began to worry and get angry. The humiliation, mocking and laughter became a regular routine.
Born in a Village Chewa Safapora in District Bandipora , Jammu & Kashmir, Mudasir Shaban realized he was Dwarf at an early stage itself. But his parents kept trying different medications. Mudasir says for nearly 10 years, he was given different tablets and injections, and this stopped only when the Doctors told that there is no improvement and issued a Certificate accordingly.
Dwarfism is short stature that results from a genetic or medical condition. The average adult height among people with dwarfism is 4 feet (122 cm). Many different medical conditions cause dwarfism – “Source Google”
Growing up with the normal children in the society had been very disturbing and traumatic for Mudasir. He loved going to School like everyone else, but he was constantly facing harassment and humiliation from everyone. His daily commute was also a nightmare – he continued getting stares and often giggled at on the road and in the buses. Unable to face this daily humiliation, he wanted to quit School. But his parents convinced him to continue in different schools – where he continued to see the same treatment. He was rejected at Sainik School due to short stature. His parents enrolled him in a Village Government School, where Mudasir was performing well in his studies. He even topped the class 8, but there was no end to the bullying. He once again decided to abandon School, and lived in a period of gloom for a few months. At that young age itself, thoughts of ending his life, kept coming to him.
His confidence in himself and in everyone else had touched the lowest point. At this juncture, help came to him from his Uncle, who came forward to take him to his family in an urban area Soura Srinagar Jammu and Kashmir. Here in this new place, he once again started his Schooling. This change helped Mudasir, as he slowly started developing new friends. The change in environment and life style and new friends started having a better effect. One new good friend became his constant companion, and was like a support system for him. He was also visiting Mosques and Shrines, where he used to find peace and bliss.
He slowly started helping others with disabilities, and was beginning to get comfort from this activity. He completed his Schooling and went on to do his BBA, and did his MBA in Financial Management from the University of Kashmir. In his College life, he felt he was getting a better treatment and was beginning to enjoy the atmosphere. He had his heart burns there too. He recalls sadly a Romantic affair which bloomed for a short span. The girl who was a year senior in College, started emotionally bonding with him, was interested in getting married to him. Mudasir knew that this would not happen, and cautioned her. What he feared happened. Her parents refused and put an end to the Story.
Mudasir Shaban further continued his studies and pursued PGDBE from Department of Distance Education from university of Kashmir. He kept gathering more information on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He was attending seminars and events related with Disabilities, and was soon an active participant in this field. He was soon volunteering and working in many Organisations working with the Disabilities segments.
After College, he continued facing discrimination for finding a proper job for himself. Daily routines were also difficult. Travelling, Shops, Bank counters, Government Offices were always difficult to navigate. He was dependent on the others for getting the work done.
He joined at Jammu and Kashmir Handicapped Association (JKHA) and in a Managerial Post continued working in the Disability segment. He moved to Bangalore in search of Jobs, and was offered a role in a couple of Companies, but the sudden developments in Kashmir in Feb 2019 forced him to rush back.
Back home, he decided he will continue working for the Disability segment. He was educated, he had gathered enough information on Rules and Regulations, and on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities. At the time when he was studying, there was no one to guide him on the available schemes and benefits for the Disabled. He was keen on helping and guiding the others now. He started a new organisation called Disability Welfare Trust.
The Trust was just a few months old when the lockdown was announced. Initially he felt he may not be able to help during this period, but with his close circle of friends he was able to start delivery of food packets and grocery items to Persons with Disabilities. His activities gained momentum and he was soon delivering to others too in Srinagar. Mudasir played an active role during the lockdown and thanks to him many Persons with Disabilities could get food and essentials delivered to them at their doorsteps.
Mudasir adds that Mr.Zaheer Jan has been a constant support to help him connect with Government officials and other NGOs. He along with MrZaheer Jan and ChintanjeetKour were fighting for a case of a special need child, and had filled an PIL for the inclusive education etc in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.
Mudasir says the Disabled community is much marginalized in Jammu and Kashmir, not just during the lockdown period. Even during the regular times, there are always curfews and unrest, making things very difficult for Persons with Disabilities. He says sometimes pensions and scheme benefits don’t reach the people, and sometimes the persons are not aware of such benefits. He is keen on helping and also creating awareness.
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