I wish I could go out, celebrate Eid with friends: Pellet-blinded Insha

As children across Kashmir are preparing for Eid by going for all out shopping, Insha Mushtaq, the courageous 16-year old girl who lost both her eyes to pellets last year, is looking forward to celebrate the festival with her friends.
I wish I could go out, celebrate Eid with friends: Pellet-blinded Insha
Photo:Mir Waseem/GK

As children across Kashmir are preparing for Eid by going for all out shopping, Insha Mushtaq, the courageous 16-year old girl who lost both her eyes to pellets last year, is looking forward to celebrate the festival with her friends. This is her first Eid at home after she lost vision in both eyes.

"I am looking forward to Eid. I hope my friends will come to see me so that we can spend some time together and have fun," Insha told Greater Kashmir. 

Recalling the days when she could see the world around, Insha said Eid used to be fun for her. "I and my friends would go together to every friends home, to market, to relatives…we would enjoy so much," the teenage girl recalls nostalgically. "But this year, I can't go anywhere. They (friends) will come, I am sure."

Last year, just four days after Eid-ul-Fitr, Insha was shot upon with pellets by forces when she was inside her home, days after killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani. The injury had resulted in evisceration of her right eye, total loss of vision in her left eye, fractures to skull and injury to brain. She underwent multiple surgeries and treatment for many months at SMHS here, AIIMS Delhi and at Mumbai, but didn't get her vision back.

Now back home and struggling to get along with her entirely changed life, Insha is a "changed person", her family says. In the past few months, she has gone to school only once. "I went to see my friends. I was missing them," she says.

However, due to her tuitions at home during the day, Insha says she can't take the liberty of visiting school often. "The bus passes by my house every day. I hear it honk, but how can I go?" she said in a sad tone.

Recently Insha has started taking Braille classes at home. "I have begun to understand Braille now," the teenage girl giggles.

In the months that went by, Insha has overcome many hassles and health crisis. She is now mobile in and around her house. "I can even go to maternal home, a few houses away, on my own," she says, beaming.

Her family however says that they stay close to ensure that she is safe. "This is a new world for her. Her home too felt unfamiliar to her when she came back from Delhi after months of treatment," her aunt Saleema says. She was undergoing treatment in Delhi on Eid ul Adha.

Her father Mushtaq Ahmed says the family is trying best to help Insha overcome her disability. "She too is trying to brave the world and not letting go of her last hope," says Ahmed.

Insha's is a joint family, her two uncles and their families share the two storied house. The kitchen of the dwelling still bears marks of the tragedy that struck Insha on the fateful evening of July 12, 2016. The glass panes of two windows are broken, its net mesh torn at multiple places after it was hit by pellets. "This is where Insha was when they fired at her," her mother Afroza points to a worn out rug near window in the kitchen.

"She had become a recluse, not wanting to talk or meet anyone," he father Ahmed says. However, lately, he says, his daughter is "feeling better".

Insha explains: "I do not like talking to everyone. I like a good positive conversation and some humor."  Insha's two brothers give her company at times, when finished with their studies and play. "One of them is learning Quran," she says.

Before pellets snatched her vision, the girl had many dreams about her career. "I wanted to be a doctor. Now I am just trying to work hard to pass class 10 with good marks. I don't know what I can become now," she says.

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