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Standing tall at 3 ft 11 inches: Woman who battled stigma now an advocate with goal to help poor

Advocate Harwinder Kaur, who has completed her BA, LLB from Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar says she now considers her 3 ft 11 inches stature as a blessing. Today, she walks from one courtroom to another to present on various cases.

Harwinder Kaur (24) with her parents.

After completing her schooling from Jalandhar’s Police DAV Public School, Harwinder Kaur (Ruby) had decided not to study further, having suffered through much ridicule due to her height.

However, her parents’ concern for her future changed her mind, and today, she is an advocate practising in Jalandhar district court for the past eight months, with a goal to some day become a judge and help the needy.

Advocate Harwinder Kaur (24) says she now considers her 3 ft 11 inches stature as a blessing. As a child, she once dreamt of becoming an air hostess, but realised her height would be a concern. In class III, she realised that she was not growing like her other classmates. Worried, her parents used to take her to doctors quite often.

“In school, several students used to make remarks about my height. I used to cry a lot. After completing school, I was scared to join college. There was a deep-rooted fear in my heart that people would again make fun of me and I will have to once again go through the pain I suffered in my school days,” recalled Harwinder, adding, “I used to cry almost daily, but never told my parents because that would have upset them. But now I feel that all that was happening because of my own negative feelings about my appearance, and now all that has changed into positivity and I have no remorse for my appearance.”

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“I remember how I used to hate that special table for me in class place ahead of the first row. But now I realise that my teachers used to do that to ensure I do not miss anything during lessons,” she further said.

The thought of her parents was at the back of her mind. “I saw the concern of my parents about my future, which they used to share with my elder brother, who lives in the UK. They always used to tell him that all their responsibilities are now his (especially me). That was when I decided not be a burden on anyone and make myself capable of not only making my own future bright but to also be there for my parents. I did not want to become a responsibility for my family, but a strength for them,” said Harwinder, who is practising under advocate Jagpal Singh Dhupar, vice-president of the District Bar Association Jalandhar.

Harwinder’s father, an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) in Punjab Police, said he feels like the “richest father in this world” because of his daughter.

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Harwinder has completed her BA, LLB from Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jalandhar. Today, she walks from one courtroom to another to present on various cases. “Sometimes it is a little inconvenient when I attend court but I have learned to manage it now. People look at me strangely, but I don’t mind anymore,” she said.

First published on: 15-07-2021 at 10:16:14 am
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