What a crippling disease failed to do, poverty did. It has finally broken the determination of Khurshid Alam. The polio-struck youngster has relinquished his studies. He couldn't pay his school fee.
But there was another reason too behind Khurshid dropping out. He wants his sister Shahin, also polio-struck, to study and earn a graduate degree so that she could make a life of her own and get married into a good family. Khurshid now works in shop dealing in bangles at Churh Road in Ranchi and earns a paltry Rs 600.
Helping him in his noble mission is his mother Nasima Khatoon who works as a peon at Quraish Academy and brings home a pay packet of Rs 1,100.
Shahin is currently a student of BA Part I (History Honours) at the Ranchi Women's College.
Despite best efforts from the two breadwinners in the family, Shahin is fighting several odds, including her disability. In fact it all started even before she was born. Her father died three months before her birth, and since then hers has been a troubled life.
Says her mother Nasima, "When she was born we were having a tough time. It was then that Rafat Shamsi, principal of Quraish Academy, helped us and gave me employment in the school."
"I made both my children go to school. When penury tried to bog us down donations from various sources and 'zakat' during Ramzan helped me provide for them," said Nasima adding that her son Khurshid had to leave St Paul's School because of financial problem.
"My mother and brother have lots for me. Though there are times when we have to stay without a square meal for days, but that is hardly a deterrent. Apart from my graduation, I am also doing a 'desk top publication' course in computers from SM Computers where I have got a 100 per cent scholarship," Shahin said.