Naseema Hurzuk ..the Incredible
Despite severe physical constraints, Naseema Hurzuk is a source of inspiration for not only the disabled but for all those who fight defeat, reports Archana Jain
Fighter: Naseema Hurzuk, who once attempted suicide, is today a symbol of hope. At 16 she was struck by spinal cord injuries that left her immobilised for life
Naseema Hurzuk’s life is a story that needs to be told and retold. Though disabled, she is not an ordinary woman. Hurzuk has been living life on her own terms and is a role model for disabled people across the spectrum.
Born in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, Hurzuk was like any other bright young girl — good in academics with a penchant for sports. When she was 16, she was struck by spinal cord injuries that gradually immobilised her and left her paralysed waist downwards.
For any other person, this might have spelt the end of all dreams. Not for her. Hurzuk’s parents and five brothers and sisters were her pillars of strength. Despite adverse situations, she went on to complete her graduation in economics. She represented India in international sporting events for people with disabilities. And she worked with several institutions serving the cause of the disabled. She also went on to hold a government job for 14 years.
Eventually, she established her own institution in Kolhapur: Helpers of the Handicapped. It provides rehabilitation to the disabled. The institution has a hostel-cum-rehabilitation centre and a vocational training centre, and significantly, everything is manned by disabled people. It produces wheelchairs, tricycles, calipers, crutches and other aids and appliances.
Today Hurzuk is a recipient of several awards and member of various committees where she leads from the front. She has worked relentlessly with the single-minded pursuit of reaching out to the disabled and rehabilitating them. She is the author of Naseema — The Incredible Story, where she gives a personal account of the trials and tribulations she went through chasing hope. For a woman who once attempted suicide, Hurzuk has proved that she has passed through all the dark tunnels to emerge into the light. So why can’t other
The episode on Naseema shows how differently abled people can choose normal partners, pursue dance and theater and lead a normal life.