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Meet the real role models of Kashmir

Ruveda Salam

In 2015, Dr Ruveda Salam became the very first woman IPS officer from Jammu & Kashmir. When Ruveda was growing up, her father often used to say that he wanted his daughter to become an IPS (Indian Administrative Service) officer. That’s when she first thought of becoming one. It inspired her and she decided to aim for it.

Before Ruveda cleared the UPSC (for the first time), she got into medical college, but even while studying medicine she used to read a lot. Ruveda found time to clear the Kashmir State Administrative Service exam. Instead of doing a post graduation in medicine, Ruveda started preparing for the UPSC.

As a young ACP, Ruveda has given motivational speeches to the youth, particularly girls. She encourages them to appear for the IPS exams in Jammu and Kashmir. Ruveda’s role is challenging. It carries a lot of responsibility. “I am in a state where people respect the police. I like it here (Tamil Nadu). When girls see me in uniform they look at me with admiration. I had conducted a workshop for girls in Hyderabad. The girls who attended said they wanted to join the IPS, but were apprehensive about whether their parents will support them,” Ruveda shared.

According to Ruveda, development will lead to peace in Jammu and Kashmir. “Peace and development go together. We should look to the future. Living outside has helped me understand the situation better,” said Ruveda.

Aathar Aamir

Jammu and Kashmir’s Athar Aamir ul Shafi Khan was ranked second in the 2015 national civil services exam. Khan had aspired for a top slot after becoming the youngest IAS officer from the state at the age of 22 last year.

Not satisfied with the 560 ranking in the 2014 exam conducted by the UPSC, he gave a shot at it again this year — and achieved an almost improbable feat of cracking the demanding civil services test twice in a row.

Khan is a graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. He cracked the civil services exam at 22, the year he completed his BTech. Though a few offers from multinational companies came his way, he chose the IAS instead.

22 year old candidate, Athar Amir-ul-Shafi Khan from Devipora, Mattan had made it in the UPSC list of successful candidates at such a young age. “22 year old Athar’s success should be a beacon of inspiration for our youngsters. His success should inspire many teenagers, school students and college students to strive for excellence,” ex-CM Omar Abdullah said congratulating Aathar

Shah Faesal

Dr. Shah Faesal, a MBBS Doctor, the first Kashmiri who had topped the Union Public Service Commission’s Civil Services Examination and the first candidate from Kashmir in several years to be selected to the Indian Administrative Service through open merit. Faesal has become very popular among Indian youth, a new role model and an icon for Kashmiri youth.

Faesal says, “Real glamour should be associated with people who have done something for the country. They deserve all the attention. But in India we are more fascinated by the brightness of the picture than by the brightness of the character.”

Shah Faesal was born in a remote village Sogam, of Lolab Valley in Kupwara district of North Kashmir. His father Ghulam Rasool Shah, a government school teacher who was killed by militants and his mother Mubeena Shah who is also a government school teacher.

His home town is well known for the scenic beauty, Lolab Valley is famous for having been the birthplace of the great Islamic theologian.

Bilal Mohiuddin Bhat

Bhat, who had appeared for the examination four times, would have in November this year crossed 32 — the cutoff age for appearing for the elite services.“I believed in this quote—Try, try, try again. I have been trying from 2010,” Bhat said, his voice choking with emotion.

Bhat, who belongs to the remote border district of Handwara in north Kashmir, completed his schooling and college from Srinagar before studying Veterinary Sciences in Jammu.The product of a government college, he cleared the Kashmir Administrative Services (KAS) and later the Indian Forest Services.“However, my aim was the IAS and now I am sure that I will get my home cadre,” Bhat said.

“I have had to sacrifice every comfort to achieve my goal,” Bhat, who has three brothers and a sister, added.His father, who was also a KAS officer, was “elated” by his son’s success.“He is longing to see me back in my home state so that I can serve my people,” Bhat said.The father in him credits his success to his seven-month-old daughter, Mariam.“After she was born in September, I cleared my preliminaries.

And since then there has been no looking back,” he said.As the news of Bhat’s success spread, congratulatory messages were flashed by Union Minister Jitendra Singh and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

“It is encouraging to see that youths from militancy-hit areas are appearing and emerging as toppers in the civil services,” Singh told

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