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Amid Chaos and rejection I won my first battle

Amid Chaos and rejection I won my first battle
I stood up for my own rights

By: Sumera. B. Reshi
Penny by penny I collected my entrance fee. Without letting anyone know that I am preparing for masters entrance examinations. I wanted to study journalism and this desire of becoming an agent of change sneaked into my soul when I was still a child and a witness of brutalities in downtown Srinagar at the dawn armed struggle. Since then, I made it my mission to stand up for weak and be their voice. Since my childhood, I had been told that I have to bow before every order given by man. I was made to realize that I have no value in this world. I, being women have to endure every hardship that comes my way in the present or in future. So my existence was negligible. But I don’t how and when the seeds of rebellion and a habit of challenging the status quo germinated in me, despite, every now and then I being made to realize that I am a scrawny sex to be protected by man.

Continuously I was asked to leave studies and settle down as early as possible. No one was on my side. I was all alone in this journey of self empowerment. I knew the best thing towards empowering women was education. Thus, my first tool to fight with the society was to liberate myself from the shackles of illiteracy and darkness. Also, I wanted to show to everyone that with this tool I can conquer hearts and minds one day.

The day came and I went to appear in entrance examination stealthily, not letting anyone know of my plans. I qualified the examination. I was happy to have conquered unknown and a difficult territory. But alas! My luck had something else in store for me. I faced strong rejection from my family forthright. My strongest opposition came none other than from my father, who believed that journalism is men’s domain and I have nothing to do with that. Rest of the blockades came from my other relatives. They termed me an outcaste, an outlaw, a rebellion, who needs to be tamed by tying a nuptial knot with someone who can act as my true master a la circus. They wanted me to perform like a tamed beast in a circus that can do whatever his master wishes to.

I rejected the proposal forthright. Putting the lights off my small and cozy room, I started thinking of my future course. After many deliberations my inner voice won and egged me to pursue higher studies rather than go for forced marriage. The biggest hurdle for me was my tuition fee and other expenses apart from family rejection. I was unable to collect a huge sum for my admission. On the contrary, at home I was treated as a rebellion. At that juncture, home to me was not different than that of a jail or a kind a celler with minimal contact with each other. No one talked to me, food was served to me like a beggar. It appeared as if I was an outsider or some traitor trying to venture into some unknown territory, which belonged to men only.

Besides all the chaos at my home, I decided to go ahead no matter what. I knew that to be a leader of my own small world was an uphill task and if ever I want to bring in a change I have to bare this discrimination shown to me by my own people. I stood up for my own rights, the right to education. This right was my birth right and I had to fight for my own rights. This is my belief that if I can’t fight for own rights, I can never voice for others. Charity begins at home, so, I tried to be an agent of change for my own self first. With my endurance I won the battle, which once seemed impossible to achieve. This is my story of self empowerment and I happy to have won my first battle



Myrthe's picture

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your story! I wish you good luck pursuing your education and your career in journalism. With your strength and perseverance, I am sure you will achieve whatever you want to achieve.

sumera Reshi's picture


Dear Myrthe,

Thanks for your encouraging words. I have yet to mail ahead to achieve professional excellence.

Kind regards,

pheebsabroad's picture


What a well spoken piece about standing up. I can see why you wish to pursue journalism you seem to have a voice from within a true desire to convey a story to others. I wish you the best of luck in your current and future battles!


sumera Reshi's picture

IN Reponse

Dear Pheebsabroad,

Thank you very much. Life is always trumatic and we have to moved forward. Stay in touch

Kind regards,

Frances Faulkner's picture


Sumera --

You know yourself and trust in your yourself. I love this story and how you just kept going despite all obstacles. Once you start on that path of seeing potential for all humanity, despite sex, age, race, status, there is no turning back. You will make a wonderful representative for other women in your journalism work.


sumera Reshi's picture


Dear Faulkner,

Many thanks for your kind words. I am thankful to you that at least you recognise the pain and efforts that I put at that time when no one was around me. I was all alone in my struggle but I made it. I want to pursue higher studies and really want to do something for women. Friend stay in touch.

Kind regards,

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