After suffering with an unnamed illness for years, Wazira Bi lost her one leg. She was just 16 when she lost use of one hand as well. In the span of two years after this, she became an orphan. Life had been harsh and the onslaught of sickness, of diminishing resources and facing death of close family -was relentless.
Wazira Bi is now 38 years old lives in the Jara Wali Gali located in the Mendhar block of Poonch district, Jammu. When she asked about how she lost her leg and hand, she painfully recalls that she was only 8 when during a dinner outside with her uncle, she ate something unrecognized and this lead to an unnamed and prolonged illness. Her father even sold his fields and cattle for her treatment at the hospital in Jammu but she did not get better. At one point, the family was even forced to ask for donations to continue her treatment.
But then one day, somebody suggested her mother to seek the blessings of Hazrat Babaji Lakhi wao was an ascetic and faith healer in the area. It worked too and she even walked back to her home after completion of treatment. But her good life remained for a while and tragedy struck her again. Now, she lost her mother. This consumed Wazira Bi so bad that she lapsed into coma. Even Hazrat Babaji Lakhi refused to treat her this time around.
Wazira remained in coma for three months and sadly, the doctors had to take the hard decision to amputate her leg to cure her. This happened in 1994, Wajira recalls. The world had crashed down for her but somehow she picked her pieces up and learned knitting. In an year, she completed her internship from District Social Welfare Department.
However her travails were far from over. Her father passed away in the same here and this 18 years old was left alone in the world. But now she had learnt how to get up after falling. An year later, the brave Wazira completed her internship in embroidery. She was now a knitting and embroidery expert but with a monthly disability pension of just 60 bucks, she had to pick some odd jobs to fulfil her needs.
The struggle lasted for few days and then in 2002, the local MLA became aware of her case. He was so moved by her situation that he helped her to join an NGO called Rahat Charitable & Social Welfare Foundation at Mendhar. Here Wazira got a prestigious job as a teacher of embroidery, knitting and sewing. Life improved vastly for her now.
“When I joined, none of the girls knew how to use the sewing machine. Today they all know,” said Wazira with a sense of Pride.
In 2007, Wazira Bi got married but her husband turned out to be an alcoholic and she took the decision to divorce only after one year. Now, she was happily working as a teacher in the NGO but then in 2011, with the change of guard at the NGO, things went downhill and centre was closed. This left Wazira Bi without a job.
Life had vastly improved and Wazira Bi got married in 2007. But sadly her married life turned out to be a troubled one. Her husband was an alcoholic and after bearing with his drunken bouts and misbehavior, she took the hard decision to file for divorce just one year later. Her troubles however did not cease. There was a change of guard at the NGO in 2011 and things went downhill. Unfortunately the Centre had to be closed down, leaving Wazira Bi without a job.