One nose at a time: Rebuilding lost confidence in Kashmir

Photo for representation: Reuters

Shazia always missed the usually cherished school campus action. While her classmates would often gather around to take selfies and share laughter and meals together, she stayed in the shadows of her solitude.

Behind her reluctance to join the fun was her ‘distorted’ facial appearance which not only hit her confidence but also attracted haunting taunts from bullies in her school.

When the bullying became unbearable, Shazia, a Kashmiri girl from south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, dropped out of school in Class 12. “My nose bump, which I developed after an accident during my childhood, made my teen years a traumatic and troubling experience,” says Shazia.

The girl suffered external damage, including a nose block, when she was hit by a stone. Shazia was in Class 5 then. Her parents tried to fix her condition with multiple surgeries, but it never helped her case.

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