Inspiring story of KAS officer Reyaz Beigh: ‘Don’t see us as disabled, we are differently-abled”
In 1981, a four-year-old child came in contact with a high voltage wire of a transformer while trying to fetch the football from thereon. Reyaz Ahmad Beigh, survived the mishap after doctors amputated his both arms. For Reyaz, losing his arms marked the beginning of a new journey for him. The road filled with obstacles, and a strong will to overcome them often greeted him at many intervals of his life. Recalling his childhood, Reyaz Beigh remembers how he felt the need of being helped by people for doing his diurnal things. “ My sisters used to feed me lunch in the school.” Not only this I struggled while holding a pen with my right toe and faced many complications while writing and doing other stuff.
Reyaz Ahmad Beigh, who presently holds the position of Additional Mission Director JKRLM has achieved many milestones in his life. After completing his schooling at Tyndale Biscoe and graduating from Bemina degree college, Reyaz did his MBA from the University of Kashmir. Not only this Reyaz Beigh qualified in civil services in 2004 and got appointed as KAS Assistant Commissioner. Reyaz’s life is not defined by his disability. There’s a lot he believes he can do and has successfully done till date. Speaking of the early days, Reyaz said: “ It was difficult for me to understand how to cope with things after losing my both arms. But despite that, I faced hardships with courage and it helped me in recuperating my strength. With the passage of time, I got used to my limitations.”
While mentioning the role of his family in supporting him, Reyaz said:
“It is because of them ( my parents ) that I’ve been able to achieve wonders in my life. If they would have pampered me as a specially-abled child, I won’t believe that I would have achieved so much in my life. They never stopped me from attending outdoor school activities and this being the reason, I took a keen interest in co-curricular activities and sports. Because of them, I have been able to do what I couldn’t have ever imagined.”
Not only his parents, Reyaz found immense help and support from his classmates and friends as well. They always encouraged him and never bullied or treated him poorly. Reyaz Beigh’s mentions some of his incredible hobbies as playing football, swimming and jogging. While interviewed about the biggest strengths that Reyaz possesses, he stated: “ As far as my limitation is concerned, I believe it to be my biggest strength. I always look at it in a positive way, thus keeping me optimistic all throughout the journey of life. I am capable of doing all the things that I aspired to do. Whatever I dreamt off, by the grace of Almighty I have accomplished them. My physical disability has given me a reason to achieve more and more in my life.”
‘A good person always repays back to his society in a better way and Reyaz Beigh stands as an example of the same. “I have served in revenue department for 5-6 years and followed by dignified positions in tourism and social welfare department as well. In the social welfare department, for 8 long years, I served many people and have closely dealt with them especially widows, old age people, civilians affected by militancy and others. I consider working for their betterment as a golden opportunity provided to me by the Almighty. Indeed He might have chosen me as a source of enlightening the lives of people. It’s very rare when God designs a platform for you to serve His creation”, says Reyaz.
Reyaz’s perception of life is quite motivating and inspiring. “ Life is full of challenges. These challenges are what make your life worth living and fighting for. He personally believes that trials and tests add flavour to life. These are the essential components to boost your willpower and make you toughest before the tough. Confidence and strong will are the parameters that define a quality life that everyone is looking for”, says Reyaz.
Nevertheless to mention that one has to face the narrow thinking of the black sheep of society every now and then. Be it a physically well or unwell person, everyone suffers from this mediocrity thing. “ Sometimes what annoys me the most is that people tend to be sympathetic to physically challenged people rather than being empathetic. They show us the care and feel pity for our condition. That is when they look down on us as disabled, ignorant of the fact that we are actually differently-abled.
Such people should treat others properly not make them feel that they’ve some sort of limitations in them. I don’t have the word“Disabled” in my dictionary as I honestly believe that people who don’t have the courage and determination to overcome hurdles and obstacles are the only one’s disabled in the real sense. Not overcoming narrow mindedness, living in despair, and not being able to withstand odds — those are the people whom you can call Disabled”, says Reyaz.
Reyaz Beigh considers education as the only and most important to remove this narrow-minded thinking from society. He also gives high preference to quality education and thinks of it as an important characteristic in shaping the lives of people. “An education is an important thing that imparts the sense of betterment in humans and empowers people especially especially-abled. Government is not at all doing justice to people like the visually impaired and other physically challenged in terms of education and environment.
They should be provided with platforms bearing in mind their prevailing situation. You cannot make a wheelchair-bound person compete with the one having a sound body. Likewise, a visually impaired cannot be compared to the one with good vision. The two are undoubtedly different and so lies the difference in the environment that they must be provided with. Education is the only weapon that can change their lives”, Reyaz said.
Life can be tough for anyone, just some dealing with tougher obstacles than others. Disabled people are sometimes just as capable of doing marvellous things as people who are not disabled. For youth Reyaz Ahmad Beigh has a special message:
“ Our youth must always think in a positive way. Give your 100% and dream big. But then make sure to work hard Inorder to achieve those dreams. There are a lot of things that you can do for this society. So be kind and do what you love to do.’
He simply wants people to remember him as a good person, who won the battles of life with a smile on his face and contentment in his heart.
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