A 21-year-old Afsana Khanam Barlaskar, resident of Bahadurpur under Udharbond constituency of Cachar district, is a specially-abled girl. On the occasion of National Girl Child Day, she has stepped up with a special gesture by giving away a tray of vegetables to a malnourished infant from her own village on the occasion of National Girl Child Day on Sunday.

Afsana has given the vegetables which she has cultivated in her cropland to the infant under the Parvarish scheme.

Afsana’s father Lutfur Rahman Barlaskar, a farmer, told The Assam Tribune that by birth his daughter can neither hear nor speak. “My daughter is my pride. After a lot of treatment when doctors said that her condition cannot improve, we decided to bring her to work with me in the field. She has cultivated the vegetables in the land demarcated for her and assisted by the officials from the Department of Agriculture. I hope and sincerely wish that parents like me who have daughters like Afsana support them in the chores they find joy in doing.”

On the other hand, Mampi Kurmi, a resident of Tikol Tea garden in the district, has been felicitated by the Department of Social Welfare on the occasion for her inspiring academic performance. Despite financially poor, Mampi has cleared the HS examination with 59.6 per cent and has also cleared her graduation in Science stream and qualified the CTET and Diploma in Elementary Education examination as well. She now aspires to be a teacher.

“My father lost his legs in an accident. I had to travel 40 km from home to Silchar to study at Cachar College. Since my father’s accident we are struck with acute economic crisis. However, I will continue to fight out the odds and would like to see the same spirit among those who are facing similar hurdles in life,” Mampi said.

The District Social Welfare Department felicitated 15 meritorious girls who are from economically weaker strata with financial aid of Rs 5,000 on the occasion at a function held at the Residential Special Training Centre for girls at Udharbond under Assam Sarba Shiksha Mission. Of the beneficiaries, 10 students were from HSLC and HSSLC level, five students from the training centre were from the elementary level.

Udharbond MLA Mihir Kanti Shome said, “The occasion calls for more awareness on the social practices to protect girl child.” He narrated the steps taken by the Government in encouraging girls to achieve their dreams in life.

Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli shared her thoughts saying, “These are our flag bearers for the Beti Bachao Beti Padao campaign. These girls will pave the way for more girls to dream big and achieve those dreams. When I had met Afsana on a field visit, I was very struck by her strong resilience. We wanted to celebrate such warriors. I hope more and more such betis of Cachar shatter the glass ceiling.”

Cachar ADCs Rajib Roy, Lolita Rongpipi, District Social Welfare Officer Sashwati Shome, District Programme officer SSA Papri Bhattacharjee, block programme assistant ICDS from Rajabajar Ranabijoy Das, Sunita Biswas, CWC member and Chil Safety Officer Mrinal Saikia attended the district level celebration of the occasion.