In a series of events, like a Muslim girl winning a Bhagwad Gita contest and a Muslim girl from Karnataka coming first in a Ramayana exam, providing a counter narrative to communal tension in the country, the story of a visually impaired Muslim girl from UP knowing Bhagwad Gita by heart, comes as a hope for peace and unity.
When seven-year-old Rida Zehra is asked if she knows the Bhagwad Gita, she folds her hands and starts reciting the holy text, which she has learnt by heart, Zee News reported. Born with 80% blindness, Zehra has never seen the book and not even read it in braille.
The girl who lives and studies at a residential blind school in Meerut, memorised the book with the help of her teacher, who read the text to her.
She told The Times Of India that,
“I like praying to God, whether it is by reading Gita or Quran. It doesn’t matter which God I pray, after all I will never be able to see him, even if he is there in front of me.”
The principal of the school, Praveen Sharma said that he got to know about a Gita competition being held in Meerut in early 2015, and that is when he decided to encourage students to participate in the competition.
सात साल की इस नेत्रहीन मुस्लिम लड़की को कंठस्थम है श्रीभगवद्गीता https://t.co/CXweWQlrpU— IBN 7 (@ibnkhabar) February 16, 2016
The principal who first learned the Gita from various scholars and then taught it to students, said that he is impressed by Zehra, who he described as a quick learner.
Zehra’s visits her family in Lohia Nagar during summer breaks and festivals, and her father who earns a living by selling biryani in Delhi said that he wants his daughter to have a future, and is proud that she knows about other religions too.
Feature image source: Reuters