Dr Shah Faisal
“There was nothing in my background that would make anybody think I can achieve this,” a jubilant Faisal, who had been hoping to be among the top 50, said today. “But I did it. So can thousands of other students with similar difficult backgrounds.”
“It is not only my own success,” he adds. “I feel I have broken the jinx that Kashmiri students cannot reach the top. I am the first from J&K to top this examination and I am sure my story will become a model for our students who fear to dream big. I am an orphan with a scarred childhood. There was a tragedy in my family, my father was killed. I was raised by my mother who is a schoolteacher. I belong to a far-flung village in Lolab and I studied in a government school.” Faisal says he was motivated by the idea of “doing more than what forms success in Kashmir”. The civil services examination is not something Kashmiri students generally opt for. “So I thought to make an attempt...”
What the family had no doubts about was Faisal’s determination to become an IAS officer and to do something for the state. “He always wanted to do something big. Even after qualifying for MBBS, he didn’t seem satisfied. It was his passion to qualify for the civil services exam. He would store photographs of Kashmiri IAS officers in his cellphone,” Mubeena says.
From Muzammil Jameel's inspiring write-up in Indian Express
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Shah Faisal with Syed Hamid Photo courtesy: Two circles.net
According to Zahid Muhammad, Faesal was among one of very few Kashmiris who made it to the Indian civil services.
“There may have been hardly three or four Kashmiris to join the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in the last couple of decades. The last Kashmiri success in the civil services examinations was in 1984-1985. Faesal’s success is coming after a gap of almost 25 years,” he noted.
Hamid now is secretary of the New Delhi-based Hamdard Education Society, which runs the Hamdard Study Circle. It was there that Faesal received his coaching. Hamid was absolutely thrilled by his student’s success.
“The Hamdard Study Circle has been in operation since 1991, and we have had many successes in the past. More than 220 students have qualified from our institute. The best result was when one of our students secured fourth place at the All-India level,” he said.
From Siraj Wahab's piece in Arab News
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