Ask her what it takes to fight back | india | Hindustan Times
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Ask her what it takes to fight back

Impossible is nothing. This is not just the motto of a popular sportswear brand but that of an incredible woman as well.

india Updated: Oct 06, 2006 04:51 IST

Impossible is nothing. This is not just the motto of a popular sportswear brand but that of an incredible woman as well. Life has dealt KB Rabia many cruel blows but each one of them has only made her stronger.

First, polio crippled her. Then cancer carved her vital organs. A fall finally confined her to her bed. But that did not stop her from her mission in life — to empower women by educating them.

"My education stopped abruptly at 17 when polio crippled me badly. Initially, I thought it was the end of the road. Then I turned to reading in a big way," the daughter of small-time ration shop merchant in Malappuram district recalls.

Rabia started by tutoring neighbourhood children. And when the total literacy campaign began, she found her mission and soon became its leading light. "When we achieved total literacy, I turned to the empowerment of women. I took up cottage industries like candle-making to help others," she says.

Thanks to Rabia, more than 250 women in her village, Vellilakkad, now have steady incomes. Her organisation Chalanam — which aptly means movement — regularly holds awareness camps to discuss social issues. "I am happy suicide, dowry and infant mortality rates have come down drastically in this part," she says.

Rabia's story, Ente Mauna Nombarangal (My Sorrows), will be out on bookstands next month. "I want to convey through Ente Mauna Nombarangal that nothing is impossible in this world," the 40-year-old says.

She already has a fan in Kerala Governor RL Bhatia, who after reading the English translation of her book, wrote to her: "Your dedicated service reminds me of the words of former US President Franklin D Roosevelt, that 'the only thing we have to fear is fear itself'."