Fighting a life-threatening cancer, Mustafa Jamal from Assam’s Dalgaon excelled in the recently declared High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) exam. Jamal said the ‘challenge to live’ has helped him to do well in the exams.
Jamal now wants to study science so that he can pursue his dream to become a doctor. Jamal scored 83 per cent marks with letter marks in Science, Mathematics, Geography and Social Science.
“I am thankful to everyone who has helped me to achieve this. We are financially poor but some of our neighbours, and especially the school authorities, have helped me a lot. I was more determined seeing the love and warmth of the people. When I was detected with cancer, I was very depressed. But then I realised no, I must fight back…so I studied hard,” Jamal told The News Mill over phone from his residence in a remote village Sialmari near Orang National Park.
A tumour was detected in his kidney in 2015 and later it formed cancer. Then he became a regular visitor at the B Borooah Cancer Institute in Guwahati for the next several years.
“Those were difficult days. It was painful. I know it was also a burden for my parents to travel to Guwahati and help me undergo the treatment. I missed my classes but my teachers and classmates were kind enough to help me in learning these lessons. Because of their help, I could do well without taking the help of a private tutor,” Jamal added.
Now, crossing the first hurdle of his life successfully, Jamal is even determined to bring a change in his life by studying science and then medicine.
“I want to be a doctor. We don’t have doctors here. So, I would be happy to be one from this place,” Jamal said.
For Abdul Hasim, 46, Jamal’s father this achievement has brought a ray of hope for the family and to their locality.
“We have never been to school. We don’t even understand much about exams. But we are glad that our son has excelled in the exams. Many people visited our residence,” Hasim, a small time farmer, said.
He, however, said that he doesn’t have money to help his son to continue higher studies.
“So far, people have been helpful. Even the school authorities didn’t ask for fees. But now it’s difficult. Without the support and financial help, I won’t be able to meet the expenses,” Hasim said.
He said that he had to spend at least Rs 15 lakh in the last several years for Jamal’s treatment. “I had to borrow money from the relatives and also from bank. Even some plots of land were mortgaged,” Hasim added.
For the school authorities of Koupati Jatia Vidyalaya, it was a proud moment.
“We are extremely happy and proud for the results. We salute the courage and determination of the young boy. We also tried our best to make him comfortable in the classes. We would never ask him about his illness so that he does not feel bad. Thankfully the fellow students too have supported him,” Luton Sarkar, the MD of the school told The News Mill.