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DETERMINED DUO: Shamsunisa and Jilani Begum at the job fair in Visakhapatnam.
DETERMINED DUO: Shamsunisa and Jilani Begum at the job fair in Visakhapatnam.

Nivedita Ganguly

VISAKHAPATNAM: The great 17th Century poet John Milton had the maturity to comprehend that physical disability was not a handicap to succeed in life, as blindness helped him to stimulate his verbal richness.

And really, it has been true in many cases going by different success stories. But many of these success stories hold a bitter past too, a past full of struggle, sorrows and loneliness.

For the two dwarf sisters - Shamsunisa and Jilani Begum - life has all along been an unending path of struggle. It is through sheer will and determination that they have managed to move ahead and compete with the others.

Their dream to get a good job and earn a living for themselves brought them to the two-day Career Awareness and Recruitment Drive on the Andhra University campus on Saturday. An MBA student of Abdul Qadir Jeelani College, Shamsunisa wants to be independent and get a good job. Her sister Jilani Begum is doing her Ph.D. on the status of minority women.

No quota

The sisters were denied of any reservation quota benefits under the minority category or under physically challenged category in every educational institution. Born in a family of five members, the sisters had to go through difficult times when they were marked as the odd-ones-out in their family. One of their brothers works in the Air Force in Nashik while another is employed by Sahara India in Hyderabad. With the elder sister already married, Shamsunisa and Jilani now want to settle down with good and secure jobs. "We face problems while interacting with the people outside, as they pass sneer comments on our short height or simply overlook us," they bemoan.


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