19-year-old Ishrat Rashid will become the first Kashmiri disabled sportsperson to play in an international wheelchair basketball tournament. She will participate in 2019 Asia Oceania Championship featuring 14 men’s and 8 women’s teams.
Rashid injured her spine in a fall in 2016 after being reportedly chased by a CRPF personnel and slipped into depression while being bedridden. She told Kashmir Life,
“In this chaos, I ran towards the stairs and reached the open slab area of our single-storey house. They came to slab too and tried to touch me, I jumped towards the slab of our close neighbour’s two-storey building but they came running there as well. I sensed danger. I was so frightened that I couldn’t make out what should I do. I still can’t forget those dreadful eyes. It seemed like I had to make a choice so I jumped down from the slab.”
She eventually joined the Voluntary Medicare Society (VMS) in Baramulla, J&K to get examined properly and saw people suffering from spinal cord injuries play basketball on their wheelchairs. She joined VMS’ basketball team and participated in a national event in Tamil Nadu.
Rashid hopes of making a full recovery one day.