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Visually Impaired Muslim Girl Recites Bhagavad Gita By Heart

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Ask seven-year-old Rida Zehra if she knows the Bhagavad Gita, the visually-challenged girl folds her hand and starts reciting the holy book. Living at the residential Brij Mohan School for the Blind in Meerut (UP) for the last three years, Zehra has never seen the holy book, for she was born with 80% blindness. In fact, she has not even read it in Braille. Her teacher at the school helped her memorise the whole text of the book by reading it out to her. Zehra was admitted to the blind school by her father when she was three years old. Her school principal Praveen Sharma, while detailing the girl’s tryst with the Gita says, “It was in the beginning of 2015 when I got to know about a Gita competition being held for kids in the city. That is when I thought, why not let our kids participate in the competition.” Sharma proudly says that Zehra was a quick learner. “First, I learnt how to recite Gita with the help of various pandits. Once I learnt the right way to read it, I started teaching the holy book to the kids of my school, and Zehra was one of the quick learners. I don’t have its copy in Braille, so I read it out to her and she knows it verbatim.” Raees Haider, Zehra’s father, says that he wants his daughter to be educated and have a bright future despite the visual impairment. He says that it is a matter of pride that she knows about other religions too. “This will make her wiser than others,” he says.