Brave trio conquers world of darkness | india | Hindustan Times
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Brave trio conquers world of darkness

RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA (RP). If you don?t know what it is, the box item will explain. If you do, here is how devastating it can be. Three children of a middle-class Muslim family, Shadab, (21), Kavish (27) and Subi (30) were born with normal sight. As the three stepped into adolescence, they began experiencing a marked fall in vision. First it was Subi, then Kavish and later, Shadab. Reading from the blackboard and copying from it became a torture. Not much later, the schools called their parents and told them to pull out their wards as the children were finding it hard to cope with the pressures of their reducing vision.

india Updated: Feb 26, 2006 01:41 IST

RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA (RP). If you don’t know what it is, the box item will explain. If you do, here is how devastating it can be.

Three children of a middle-class Muslim family, Shadab, (21), Kavish (27) and Subi (30) were born with normal sight. As the three stepped into adolescence, they began experiencing a marked fall in vision. First it was Subi, then Kavish and later, Shadab. Reading from the blackboard and copying from it became a torture. Not much later, the schools called their parents and told them to pull out their wards as the children were finding it hard to cope with the pressures of their reducing vision.

At that time, Subi was studying in the Army Public School, Kavish in the La Martiniere College for girls and Shadab in the La Martiniere College for Boys. As the children continued to lose sight, their harried father tried everything — Allopathy, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Unani and even the occult. Finally, sight vanished for all three. What was it like to have sight, experience the beauty and colours that vision had to offer, and then lose it steadily, till everything became one, big blackness?

It was like the power decided to take leave, pitching them in complete darkness. So total was the blackness that one could not make out the fingers on one’s hand. And there we experienced what it was to have the gift of sight and lose it. But ‘will power’, they say, can move mountains. The siblings proved it and they have this to show for their efforts.

Shadab is in MA I studying English Literature at the Lucknow Christian College. He was also a Visharad final year (vocals) student at the Bhatkande Music Akademi, till recently. His teachers at the college, and some friends promise to get him back into the akademi soon.

Being tech-savvy, he scans notes and books, gets them transferred on to a CD and using an optical character-recognition (OCR) software learns the matter.

The OCR converts the matter into voice mode, which facilitates learning. He plans to take up L LB after his MA degree and become a practising lawyer.
Despite the iron will, Shadab has faced obstacles. He had applied in the King George’s Dental University (KGDU) for the post of a clerk. His application was not entertained despite there being reservation for the physically and visually challenged.

Now his father, who retired as FCI manager, has almost made up his mind to move court.

Subi, who holds a BA degree, married a religious leader a year back. To her credit, she has been an SP corporator from the Kashmiri Mohalla Ward (no 92) from 1995-2000. Now, on a hiatus from politics, she plans to return to it soon.

Kavish works in the Election Commission office as a clerk and dreams to become a PCS officer. Also married, she has been blessed with two cherubs, Kashif (2) and Malik (6 months). At the same time, she is also pursuing an MA degree in Urdu from Shia College. Both girls have also represented the Lucknow district in judo.

Their guiding hands are two brothers -- Murtaza and Farhan -- (besides, of course, their immediate family). Murtaza studied with Shadab in La Martiniere College and has stuck with him and the family since.

The two have also been ‘writers’ for Subi, Kavish and now are writing Shadab’s papers. Thanks to them, the three are degree holders.