Witness the incredible journey of Ayub Mir, a blind boy who defied all odds and transformed his limitations into opportunities, inspiring everyone around him with his unwavering determination and indomitable spirit.
By Syed Uzma
In a world often clouded by darkness, where sight becomes the lens through which we perceive reality, the story of young Mohammad Ayub Mir stands as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Despite losing his eyesight completely in 8th grade, Ayub has managed to illuminate the lives of those around him through his unwavering determination, indomitable spirit, and boundless love for life. This is the remarkable story of a blind boy who has transformed his own limitations into opportunities, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who have the privilege of knowing him. From Darkness to Light
Ayub, 24, hails from Sogam village in Lolab, Kupwara. From a tender age, Ayub displayed an extraordinary level of curiosity and resilience. Ayub’s indomitable spirit shone brightest during his early school years. Despite the setback he faced when he lost his vision in school and the unintentional exclusion from certain activities, he refused to succumb to self-pity or bitterness. Instead, he embraced every challenge as an opportunity to prove his worth, both to himself and to those around him.
He rose against the social stigma associated with people with disabilities. He says, “Problems are universal; everyone faces problems. But I won’t deny I had to face the double burden of problems. It was initially difficult to adjust myself to the fact that I can’t see or play like other people around it. On top of it, the social stigma associated with my blindness made it worse. People call us ‘Darwish’ or ‘Pir Saab.'”
“Life is about dependency, and for me, each individual who has helped me in any way is my supporter. My family, teachers, and friends are my supporters. However, an auto driver who picks me up from my home to college is my supporter. A canteen worker is also my supporter who serves me food and helps me with ordering food,”
However, with the support of his dedicated teachers and parents, Ayub participated in extracurricular activities and kept honing his other senses, developing a keen understanding of spatial awareness. “Life is about dependency, and for me, each individual who has helped me in any way is my supporter. My family, teachers, and friends are my supporters. However, an auto driver who picks me up from my home to college is my supporter. A canteen worker is also my supporter who serves me food and helps me with ordering food,” Ayub articulates.
As Ayub grew older, his thirst for knowledge expanded exponentially. He immersed himself in academics, devouring books and engaging in social services that inspired all who witnessed it. Through the power of education, Ayub transcended his visual limitations, experiencing the world through the vivid descriptions penned by countless authors.
Ayub’s journey took a significant turn when he discovered his interest in Political Science and got admission to Aligarh University for honors in Political Science. He was the topper of the boys’ college in AMU in honors and also completed his Masters there. Ayub also has a NET JRF in Political Science in his name. He continues to strive for the best education, and his blindness motivates him to go on in life. “There are many things that motivate me to go on in life, like my dream of studying abroad, achieving big things, but most importantly, it is my blindness. I feel if I don’t work hard, I won’t be able to voice out my opinion or be a push factor for people like me,” Ayub says.
Ayub believes his disability is his strength, and one’s struggle is the backbone of power. He says, “It has helped me to keep working hard and keep pushing myself to do things in life.” Since school, he actively participates in social awareness campaigns. He has worked closely with local organizations, offering his unique perspective and lending his voice. Through public speaking engagements and interviews, Ayub shares his personal journey, challenging societal norms, and inspiring others to overcome their own barriers, whatever they may be.
Ayub, through his observations, narrates the lack of infrastructure and instructors for disabled people. “A child with any kind of disability is not specifically going to an educational institution. However, it is important to have disability-friendly infrastructure in every institute. Being a village boy, I did feel the need to have a braille instructor or a resource person in my school who can help me with the difficulties I faced during that time. A teacher must be open to teach and understand such students.”
The message he wants to convey to people with disabilities is to accept it. “You are blind, deaf, or handicapped; that is a reality, and make peace with it. Accept it and then navigate ways to be there and work on it. I am a blind person, I know I can’t be an Army officer, but I can be a teacher, a communicator, an anchor, and so on. Like that, we all have plenty of options; all we need is to push ourselves to explore.”
Indeed, Ayub’s courage and determination to make the most out of life are inspiring for all people.