Bride-searching was arranged through a broker. Ms. Rizwana Khathoon was fixed for Dr. Dastagir. She is a degree holder with B.Sc., B.Ed., M.Ed., M.Phil. Now she is also pursuing her Master degree in Arabic language while working as a teacher in a private school.
Ms. Rizwana asserts: "Marriage means life support. In a moment, it propped up in the mind that how a blind man is going to support in her life? How will he be a protective force behind me? But with courage, I accepted him.
"His insight, views, educational qualifications and achievements were the foremost reasons for our marriage. Furthermore, I thought my marriage with him would be an outstanding service in my life. Therefore, wholeheartedly I gave my consent to this marriage and my parents also happily accepted and praised for my dedication and sacrifice," she remembers.
Earlier some of her close relatives opposed to the marriage by suspecting that their offsprings also will be blind and spoilt. However, as an educated girl, Rizwana was very clear in her mind and decided the marriage was to consummate. Now, by the Grace of God, this wonderful couple has one daughter and two sons – all of them are in perfect shape and stature.
"In my educational endeavours," asserts Dr. Dastagir, "I have never regretted or felt my inability as a blind man except on a few occasions in my life. One of them was at my marriage, which I mentioned above. After my marriage, supports from my relatives have dwindled. Now my parents have become old and weak and I’m not able to help them."
Dr. Dastagir feels that there are a lot of kind-hearted and generous people in this world. "I have my highest regards to those who would catch my hands for crossing the road safely. It is the God’s gift that India has a large population. Even if it rains or the sun blazes there is always someone to help a disabled person in our country. I have a lot of personal experiences in this respect. But I haven’t yet seen the faces of those kind-hearted. I dedicate my each and every success to those noble hearts."
Dr. Dastagir graduated from the Loyola College, a Christian institution. The person who read out the lessons for him was Sambasiva Shastry, a Hindu benefactor. Presently he is teaching in the New College, a Muslim institution. By such happenings, one may be proud of the religious tolerance in India.
Prof. Alfonse says: "We have deputed him as the Goodwill Ambassador from our college". In short, Dr. Dastagir is one of the symbols of religious tolerance of India. Such outstanding persons are really the EYES of India.
One last question to Dr. Dastagir: "If God gives you back your eyesight, whom will you see first?"
"First of all, I’ll see the Holy Qur’an" was his answer! (Concluded)
[First appeared in Tamil bimonthly Samarasam]