Armless girl graduates with law degree

(Trinidad Guardian) Vera Bhajan, 22, the young woman from Felicity, Chaguanas, who was born without arms, has graduated from University of the West Indies (UWI) with a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB). Bhajan was celebrated by members of her community on Friday at the Shri Krishen Mandir for her achievement.

Members of the temple presented her with a “Pioneer Award” and a gold chain for making her community proud. Bhajan gained media attention in 1994, when she was just six years old, as a youth who was determined to succeed, despite her physical condition, using her feet to eat, write, and later, to use a computer. In 2004, Prime Minister Patrick Manning promised the former St Augustine Girls’ High School (SAGHS) student a scholarship to complete her studies, but that was not forthcoming until 2007.

But days before leaving to go to Barbados to start classes, Bhajan was traumatised, since the Government did not fulfil its promise of providing a scholarship, some two years after making a commitment to do so, said Iman Iqubal Hydal, a Muslim cleric and community member. He said former Culture Minister Joan Yuille-Williams came aboard later and assisted. Hydal said everyone should follow the example of Bhajan, and seek out their own special strengths to overcome obstacles and succeed. She had received the Hummingbird Medal (Silver) in 2005.

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