Meet Safa Fabin, the Class 12 girl who translated Rahul Gandhi's speech to Malayalam

Rahul Gandhi gives chocolates to his speech translator Safa Fabin, a Class 12 student of Government Higher Secondary School at Karuvarakkundu in Malappuram district. Photo - Sameer A Hameed
Rahul Gandhi gives chocolates to his speech translator Safa Fabin, a Class 12 student of Government Higher Secondary School at Karuvarakkundu in Malappuram district. Photo: Sameer A Hameed

Karuvarakkundu, Malappuram: “I do not know how I got the opportunity to translate Rahul Gandhi's speech. I still cannot believe it.”

That was Safa Fabin, a Class 12 student at the Government Higher Secondary School in Karuvarakkundu in Malappuram district, who rose to stardom after she translated Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's English speech to Malayalam on Thursday.

Rahul Gandhi addressed the gathering after inaugurating the newly-built science block at the school. Karuvarakkundu village falls under Rahul Gandhi's Wayanad Parliamentary constituency. Rahul began his three-day tour of the constituency on Thursday.

Safa, fifth and youngest daughter of Madrassa teacher Kunhi Muhammed, said Thursday was just a normal day in her life. “I went to the school just to listen to Rahul Gandhi's speech. He is one of the political leaders I admire. I had listened to him once when he spoke at Kalikavu (also in Malappuram) during his election campaign,” she told Onmanorama.

Safa said she never expected that the mantle of translation would fell on her. “I volunteered when Rahul asked whether anyone could translate his speech. I don't know how I mustered the courage to raise my hands,” she said.

But her confidence grew once she got on to the stage. “I took a cautious approach from the beginning. Because I knew that my compatriots would troll me had I made any mistakes. The approach helped me complete the task without glitches,” she said.

Safa thus won the hearts of her school-mates, teachers and the public for the effortless translation.

Her teachers minced no words to congratulate her.

“Safa used appropriate words quickly. She stunned us all. She even used local slang to make her translation appealing,” said Vinod Karuvarakkundu, who teaches mathematics. “We are proud of her feat,” he said.

During the 15-minute speech, Rahul exhorted students to ask questions relentlessly to improve their scientific temper. “There are no foolish questions nor wrong questions. You have to keep on asking questions,” Rahul told the students. “Society can maintain scientific temper only if students ask questions,” he said.

Safa said Rahul spoke slowly to ensure that she could comprehend his speech completely. “I must thank Rahul for helping me translate perfectly,” she said.

After completing the speech, Rahul congratulated Safa and presented her with chocolates.

Safa, who is a student at the English medium of the school since Class 5, said Thursday's event was a morale booster. “This gives me confidence to achieve my dream of becoming a teacher. You know, teachers need good communication skills ,” she said.

Safa's father Kunhi Muhammed, who teaches at the Muneerul Islam Madrassa, said he feels proud about her daughter. “All the credit should go to her. She is a voracious reader. But I never knew that she has this skill to translate speeches beautifully,” he said.

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