Young Raushan Jawwad belongs to a family of meagre income. Raushan’s father, Jawwad Shaikh, is a pushcart vegetable vendor in the western suburbs of Mumbai. Ansary Khatoon, Raushan’s mother is a homemaker. Raushan is the third among four siblings. Raushan, who had her eyes set on pursuing Medicine, lost both her legs on 16 October 2008, after being pushed out of a crowded local train near Andheri in Mumbai. She was returning home after writing her college exams. When she neared the door of the train at Andheri station, the other women commuters started jostling – that’s when Raushan lost her balance. As she fell onto the tracks, her legs came under the moving train. Hearing Raushan’s screams, some commuters pulled the chain to stop the train. In the accident, Raushan’s lower limbs were severed at the ankle and the thigh.
Adjusting to the physical changes was not the only battle Raushan faced. The bureaucracy in the Indian system tried its best to stymie her dreams of becoming a doctor. There is a rule that allows only people with “up to 70% challenge” to study Medicine but Raushan was found to be 88% challenged post-accident. The government found her “unfit” to study Medicine. Raushan moved the Bombay high court in order to be able to study medicine despite qualifying in the entrance exam.
According to The Times Of India, Raushan’s ordeal has come to a happy close. She has secured a first class in her final MBBS examination, eight years after losing both her legs. Today Raushan sounds both relieved and happy. Seated on a plastic mat at her 10×10 rented home in a chawl in Jogeshwari, she recounts her legal and financial battles-the several rounds of the court, before Chief Justice Mohit Shah directed the college to induct her. “When she can come all the way to court, why do you think she won’t be able to come to the class?” was a question raised by the Chief Justice to which the college had no answer.
Raushan also recounts MLA Ameen Patel’s visit to the hospital and his offer to pay her college fees. The MLA financed Raushan’s entire education. Her classmates, professors and senior doctors in the college were very cordial. “They never made me feel I was disabled. I am thankful to all,” says Raushan. She is now mentally prepared for a PG course. Raushan’s parents are extremely proud of her achievements.