No handicap to success for Jahanara Khatun

By Zaidul Haque,

Kolkata/Berhampur: 41 year old Jahanara Khatun was ranked 31st in the examination for the West Bengal Junior Social Welfare Examination for 2013. An amazing achievement for a mother of an eight-year old. She lost her hearing when she was a teen ager, a result of a road accident.


Jahanara Khatun reading study materials in her home.

Physical impairment has not been an impediment for Jahanara. After passing her Madhyamik Exam from Dhuliyan Girls High School in Murshidabad, she couldn’t find a college that provided facilities for her handicap. But that didn’t stop her, she trained as a nurse and got a job at a Sub-Health Centre in a village of Murshidabad.

Many would have been content with this life achievement but not Jahanara. She passed the BA through private examination. Meanwhile her father passed away in 2002 leaving all the responsibilities three brothers and a sister on Jahanara.


Jahanara Khatun taking care of her daughter Ishrat Jahan Ahmed before going to school.

After helping her brothers and sister study and arranging for their weddings, Jahanara got married to Imtiaz Ahmed, a school teacher. Now that her daughter Ishrat Jahan is eight, Jahanara decided to appear for WB Junior Social Welfare Examination.

When asked why she decided to do that? Jahanara told that she wanted to inspire other Muslim women to get government jobs.

Jahanara said that she did not have the means for the coaching. Therefore she studied on her own after work. She appeared for the preliminary examination three times before succeeding in the main examination. She thanked her husband for support and Banbadev Biswas of Nadia district who helped her study. Finally, years of hard work paid off and she came ranked 31st.


List of successful candidates of WB civil services examination 2013 (Group `C’)

Jahanara will be joining this service shortly. Jahanra hopes that Muslim women in the state will be inspired by her and they will not stop their education after marriage. If she can succeed with her physical handicap why can’t others?, she asked.

Murshidabad is one of the most backward district of the state. Jahanara wants to help towards the development of this district. She has already started studying for West Bengal Civil Services Examination.

At her job in the Sub-Health Centre, she encourages women who comes there for medical treatment to continue their study. On her off days, she talks to girls and women of her locality about importance of education. She encourages married women with at least higher secondary examination to appear for government jobs.


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