Violinist, singer & artist, Noor Jaleela hopes to make a positive impact in lives of people around her
Noor Jaleela, 19 years old, was born without hands and legs. Multiple disabilities never came in the way of her dreams. Noor, who lives at Kozhikode in Kerala is a violinist, artist and singer. Currently, she is pursuing her under-graduation in Economics. In ‘My Take’ this week, Noor talks about what makes her a confident young girl.
I have a congenital disability. My scan reports before birth were normal, so doctors and my parents were worried and shocked when they saw me after I was born. My parents are ardent believers of God. So though seeing me gave them a shock, there was some positive energy that triggered them to stay calm and give my the best in life, says my father. They were confident of bringing me up in spite of any obstacles.
There was a major train accident tragedy that happened at Kannur near my home. Many people lost their lives and many others had to amputate their hands and legs. My father thought, if they all can live, then why can’t my daughter? That is yet another factor that prompted him to stay positive.
Growing up in an inclusive environment
I could write and do things independently. From a very young age, I started using artificial limbs to walk.
Many schools refused to take me in. They said that having a disabled child inside the school premises is going to affect other kids. School officials were uncomfortable mingling with me. So I was denied admission. Instead, they advised my parents to find me a special school. But during those days, special schools were primarily for deaf and visually impaired students.
I was later admitted to St. Nobert International School. The priest who gave me admission there only wanted to make sure that I can walk and write, I did both. I completed my class 12 at Auxilium Nava Jyoti School. “Officials at both schools saw my ability unlike other schools that saw only my disability”.
My teachers played a huge role in shaping me up into an independent and confident person that I’am today. Since I couldn’t dance like the others, they chose me to compere shows at school events. They even urged me to wear the same uniform, just like how all the other kids did. There was no question of customizing it for me! I became the school leader twice. All those were great initiatives towards inclusion.
A powerhouse of positivity
Since the last eighteen years, I have been using the artificial limb made by the Kozhikode Medical College Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. I switched to Otto Bock a year back and is now using their artificial limbs.
I play the violin, love to sing and draw too. Since past few months, I have been working on crafts and is doing it as a small business.
I’am active in social work. “While working for an NGO where there were many wheelchair users, I realized how blessed I’am. I met many cancer survivors and those with spinal cord injuries. They were unable to even walk”.
I have been associated with the Institute of Palliative Medicine for past many years. Dr Anwar Hussain, one of the founders, is like a father figure to me. He is my mentor and friend too. Just like my parents and sister, he has a positive influence in my life.
The path ahead
Currently, I’am doing my BA in Economics. I aspire to write civil service exams. I love archeology and history. I also want to improve on my creative side too.
Prophet Mohammed has said that it is important to look beneath you while walking instead of looking at the sky because then you will fall. That means, count your blessings and all that you have in life. It is important to stay grounded too. I’am indeed satisfied and happy. There are times when I feel low and I think ‘This too shall pass’.
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