Against the Odds
Teacher of Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation (BPF) “Inclusive school”, Mukta Akter, is physically disabled. Yet, her positive outlook towards life has led her to pursue higher education. Her ambition is to work for the disadvantaged of the society and help them to uphold their rights, thus enabling them to be a part of the mainstream society.
Zia Nazmul Islam
Mukta Akter never learned to walk properly. When she was only 11 months old, she was diagnosed with Typhoid. Her poor parents neglected the severity of the disease, and didn't see her to any doctor. Later, her maternal uncle took the initiative, and brought her to a nearby Kallyani inclusive school, established by Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation (BFP). There in the school, she was treated by doctors and was given physiotherapy. Gradually, she learned to walk, and also had her primary education from the school. Although, the physiotherapy helped in her mobility – she still can't walk in a proper way.
Now, she is young an independent young woman, who is not only a teacher of the BPF school she herself was once a student of but also pursuing her Bachelor Degree.
She was born in the village of Jalsa thana in Dhamrai. Her father passed away in September 2009, leaving 4 daughters and one son. Her uncle, living in Bathuli thana in Dhamrai, took the responsibility to raise her while her mother still lives with her paternal grandparents. Her siblings are all married and working at different sectors. Having her admitted in the BPF “inclusive school”, her uncle raised her to be independent and self-aware.
Unlike many disabled women, she continued her education and finished her high school from Dhankora Girish Institute. Later, she finished her HSC from Manikganj Mohila Government College. Currently, she is a second year degree student of Manikganj Government Debendra College.
She started working as a teacher at the BPF school right after her SSC examination. “I earn my own pocket-money, help my mother and pay for my education” she said with pride. Her spirit and enthusiasm in life led her to learn on-hand skills like tailoring. In the school, she is not only a text- book teacher but also an instructor of vocational training. A multi-skilled woman, Mukta Akter is a valuable asset to the School.
She is full of life – an active person. At such young age, she is also the Vice President of the local “Protibondhi Unnayon Shongtha”. Her future plan is to study LLB and be a lawyer. Moreover, she wants keep working for the physically challenged. “Being a lawyer will enable me to work for the rights of the disabled” she explained. She doesn't miss any opportunity to get any training offered by BFP or other organizations. Recently, she received training from Access Bangladesh Foundation on teaching.
Poor and disabled, without a father, Mukta Aker is a shining beacon, and an inspiration for all – disabled or not.
(R) thedailystar.net 2012