Braving the harsh winter chill and the separatist-sponsored strike, a bunch of Kashmiri students appeared for their board exams on Tuesday. According to reports, 99% of students registered appeared for the 10th board examination.
However, 15-year-old Faisal Ahmad was not one of those lucky ones. Due to severe pellet injuries in both eyes that left him half-blind, Ahmad couldn't make it to the exams.
"I had a dream and was very desperate to participate in matriculation exams and today's science paper was my favorite but I am the most unlucky person because I could not attend the exams," Faisal told Greater Kashmir.
He has lost up to 85 percent vision on his left eye, and 15 percent on his right eye. His sight didn't recover ever after two surgeries.
Faisal was hit with pellets during a 'peaceful' demonstration that took place on August 24.
"I wept today morning when my friends went for exams but I was sitting at home," Faisal said, in a heartbreaking statement.
Faisal's elder brother has been arrested under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA).
Earlier, reports said, that at least 20 students approached the SMHS Hospital in Srinagar to help them get assistance in writing exams.
The Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education had notified that they would provide helpers for those who had been injured in the Kashmir clashes. The helpers will accompany the students to the examination hall and write verbatim what the students tell them.
Meanwhile, a 16-year-old wrote his exam even with almost no vision on his left eye, reports The Tribune. Aitha Hussain also reportedly refused to take the assistance of a helper to write his examination even as he struggled to write in a straight line.
"I will write as much I can, without anyone's help," Hussain told The Tribune before writing his exam.
According to officials, out of 56,277 students, who had applied for the November examinations, 55,500 were present at the examination centres to take Science and Home Science exams on Tuesday.
"Some 700 students were absent, but overall the examination went on peacefully and all the arrangements were in place," an official in J&K Board of School Education told Indian Express.
Following five months of civilian unrest during which at least 30 schools were set on fire, huge contingents of police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in and around 484 centres for Standard 12 exams and 545 exam centres for Class 10 students.
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