There are many for whom the thirst for education takes them much beyond the normal road and they do amazing things just for their love. Just recently, we saw the story of school children in a China village, as little as 6 years old trekking up and down a over 2000 ft cliff daily just to reach school! These kids braved all the dangers and elements of nature but ensured that they do not miss even a single day of school! Such was their thirst for knowledge. While this is a story from beyond India, even in the country we often see kids studying under street-lamps and going to various lengths to get education. It is a wonder and yet at the same time a pitiful sight. But the sight instantly inspires respect in our hearts for such children who beat the odds.

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One such inspirational story is of Mustafa, the son of a lorry driver in Karnataka. Mustafa was unfortunately born without hands but this disability has definitely not stopped him from going for and achieving his dreams. Mustafa was always interested in learning and as he could not write like the normal children with his hands, he mastered the use of a pen to write with his feet. Holding the pen between his toes, he can write as fast as and as clearly as any one of us normal beings without disability. He passed all his school exams the same way, writing by himself with his toes and passed all exams with flying colours. When the time came for Board exams, the exams where he would be among thousands of students in a literal race, he had to make a call – write on his own with his toes or take the help offered?

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The state government and education ministry has allowed those suffering from physical and learning disabilities to have assistance in exams. They can opt for a help in the form of another writer, extended exam time, etc. However, Mustafa chose to refuse all the help offered and write the exam by himself, within the time frame provided. It was surely a tough call but he did take it and it paid off really well! The boy managed to score 80 percent marks in his exams! He scored 93 marks in Kannada, 70 marks in English, 82 marks  in History, 60 marks in Economics, 86 marks in Political Science and 83 marks in Social Studies. However, unhappy with his Economics score, Mustafa has applied for a revaluation to the board and is hopeful of scoring more once the papers are re-evaluated.

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Mustafa dreams of becoming an IAS officer and has scored 74 percent in his SSLC exams. Not only that, with his result, he has topped in his college, the Veerashaiva College near Ballari city in Karnataka. His parents, Dasgir Sab and Maqbul Banu are needless to say extremely proud of their son. Mustafa has two other siblings but he is the only one in the family who was born disabled. The boy chose to not let his disability hinder his dreams and worked really hard, practising day and night to achieve his goal. While talking about his love for studies and his determination, Mustafa’s teacher K. Gadilingappa said while talking to The Hindu, “I was transferred to Kolagal around six years ago, and I was astonished and proud to see that Mustafa was independent and faced challenges on his own. Seeing his self-confidence and positive attitude, I helped him get a scholarship for the disabled and gave him moral support”

Hats off to the boy and we wish he acieves all his dreams. Such children are an inspiration to each one of us to keep up the hard work and never let go, whatever the difficulty may be. Always stay positive and work hard and no dream is too big for you!

Main Image Credit: The Hindu/Mysuru Online