Sharada Dawar is visually impaired from birth. But the physical handicap has not stopped the Bhil tribal girl from looking ahead with confidence and pride.
On Monday, Sharada, 24, paid a visit to the district collector of Alirajpur in Madhya Pradesh to return Rs 10,000 he had given her a few months ago to complete her studies.
Last week Sharada was selected as a probationary officer in the Bank of India, the result of sheer hard work for the daughter of a marginal farmer in a tribal-dominated village in Jobat teshil, around 170 kms from Indore.
“I returned the money to the collector because I got selected and I thought the money could be used by the collector to help any needy or poor for his/her studies,” Sharada told Hindustan Times on Thursday.
She had approached the collector with a request to help her complete her graduation. He handed over a demand draft of Rs 10,000.
For the past few days, Sharada’s story of self–respect and struggle has dominated Facebook posts and WhatsApp messages in Madhya Pradesh.
“She is now an example amongst the tribals of Jobat. I salute her self-respect,” the collector said.
Congratulatory messages have followed Sharada’s act.
“Many people from various places called me and congratulated me for my self-respect and success. Some senior officers of the administration and education department came to village to meet me and said that they will honour me,” she said.
The proud people of Jobat are also planning to honour Sharada for her achievement.
“In the next few days, we will organise a ceremony for Sharada,” said Rajesh Bhil, a resident of Jobat and tribal leader.
What makes Sharada’s achievement all the more special is the fact that Alirajpur has one of the lowest literacy rates in the country, an official said.
Sharada is the eldest of three daughters and a son. She is the only one in the family with visual impairment.