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Updated: August 1, 2013 00:30 IST

Fortitude, thy name is Attaullah

J. S. Ifthekhar
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Shaik Attaullah
Shaik Attaullah

Losing three of his limbs as a boy has done little to dent the spirit of this 15-year-old, who will settle for nothing less than a career in the civil services

Have the courage to live. Anyone can die. While most buckle under the slightest pressure, here is a boy who is prepared to face the challenges of life with just one hand and no legs. Surely, it takes a lot of nerve and pluck. And Shaik Attaullah has it in abundance.

Attaullah, 15, lost his right hand and lower limbs in a freak fire mishap when he was just seven. Using an iron rod, the boy was trying to retrieve his kite from a tree when he took the full blast of the high tension wires passing beneath.

“His right hand burnt like a candle immediately,” recalls his father, Shaik Zakaullah, his voice trembling with emotion.

Doctors at the Gandhi Hospital amputated both his legs to save his life. In the last seven years, both Attaullah and his parents have suffered a lot but have not lost hope. The boy’s determination to pursue his studies, his disability notwithstanding, is what gave them courage.

Intelligent and hardworking, Attaullah passed the SSC examination this year with flying colours, scoring 90 percent marks, He is now pursuing his first year intermediate at Loyola Academy in Old Alwal.

Attaullah’s zest for life is amazing. He comes across as a person who doesn’t want to settle for less in life. He wants to become a civil servant.

“With just one hand I can’t be an engineer or a doctor. Therefore, I want to be a civil servant and serve the society,” he says. He is aware of the hard work required to crack the civil services exam and is ready for it.

His father deserves all the credit for carrying him to the college and back, a distance of 5 km from his house at Jeedimetla. Zakaullah, who works as a contract worker with the AP Health and Medical Infrastructure Development Corporation, has difficulty meeting the medical expenses and college fee of his child with his salary.

Attaullah urgently needs an electric wheelchair to move freely on his own. Also, a sophisticated prosthetic from Germany is needed for his right hand.

“The whole amount, including the college fees, would come to Rs. 2.68 lakh,” says Mujtaba Hasan Askari of the Helping Hand Foundation. The HHF can be reached on 040-23302004.

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