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Kerala youth scales academic heights despite losing eyesight at young age

Murshid O P

Clearing Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) exam is not that glamorous compared to Indian civil service exams. But for 27-year-old Murshid O P of Pookolathur in Malappuram, Kerala, it’s a major achievement in his life as he battled blindness to clear the exam. Murshid lost his eyesight at an early age due to an illness and has to defy all odds to achieve an outstanding success in JRF in English language and literature.

It was while studying in fourth standard that Murshid lost his eye sight due to an illness. Though his parents took him to different hospitals, he couldn’t regain his eye-sight. Finally, Murshid was forced to join a school for blind children to continue his further studies. His parents enrolled him in Kerala School for the Blind at Vellikkapatta and that became a turning point in his life.

“After losing eyesight suddenly, I was totally lost. But I realised that only if I study well, I could be able to build a career and life overcoming my disability. My teachers, especially at the school, motivated me a lot and made me adapt to the situation. The schooling at the blind school provided me all opportunities to express my abilities and that gave me confidence, ” Murshid told Open Digest.  Rather than succumbing to despair, young resilient Mushid embraced his circumstance and embarked on an extraordinary academic journey.

After undergoing some surgeries, Murshid could regain a little eye sight till the age of 15 before again becoming totally blind. But Murshid made use of that little window period to learn writing.  “I learned to write Malayalam, English, and Arabic at that time. So, I am now able to write like a normal person,” he said. Murshid started preparing for JRF right from the time he joined for graduation at Farook College in Kozhikode.

Supported by his family, teachers and peers, Murshid developed innovative methods of learning and adapted to a new way of experiencing the world. His resilience and passion for learning not only propelled him forward but also served as a beacon of hope for others facing similar challenges.

His achievement of qualifying JRF is a testament to his exceptional abilities, unwavering determination and unyielding spirit. His father Muhammed O P and Sulaikha M always extended their support to him.

Murshid intends to do research on how environmental issues are highlighted in literature. He is also set to embark on a journey as a college teacher and not limit his talent to teaching alone. Being a good orator, he has won several prizes in school competitions and was also part of the team that penned a book titled ‘Pakal Thanne Rathri Varum Vare’, a collection of poems which is translated from English to Malayalam. He has also written two album songs. 

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