From VLW to KAS: The Kulgam Boy Chased His Goal Despite Hardships

by Urvat Il Wuska

SRINAGAR: Waseem Ahmad Ganie was on cloud nine after seeing his name among the lucky 70 candidates who cracked KAS last month. Waseem, 27, is a resident of Devsar village, 6 km east from Kulgam. His name figured at rank 34. Waseem is the son of a farmer Mohammad Jabbar and homemaker Hanifa Banoo.

Waseem Ahmad Ganie KAS 2018

Waseem has his own journey of struggle behind his success. Despite facing hardships Waseem never lost hope and it was his dedication that showed its colours on September 29, when the results were announced.

Waseem is the youngest of Ganai siblings. He has two brothers Mukhtar Ahmad who works in the forests department as a guard and Bilal Ahmad, who is currently unemployed. They have two sisters, Aamina Parveen and Bahara Akhter.

Waseem said they have witnessed tough times from the early stage of his life. He was barely six years of age when his father was diagnosed with asthma, hypertension and many other health issues. He was the sole bread-winner for the family so the economic conditions worsened. Then, his elder brother Mukhtar was studying in twelfth standard and the family had to manage the marriage of Aamina.

“We used all our savings to manage the treatment of our father. This led my brother to drop-out and start working in a local private school so that we youngsters could continue our studies,” Waseem said. “My other siblings also started working to support the family.”

Waseem admitted that, at that point in time, he also wanted to drop out of school because it was difficult for the family to afford his education.

When Waseem was in twelfth standard, he said he left his tuition midway for lack of funds. However, he started studying at home in order to complete his degree.

“Many ups and downs came in my way but these problems could not break my inner strength,” Waseem said. “It was my creator, my family and my friends who were with me during the hard times”. He specially mentions Idrees, his close friend, who had to go through a lot of difficulties while Waseem was staying with him during the main examination.

Waseem has pursued B SC from Government Degree College for Boys Anantnag in 2013. He has done his schooling from Sun Shine Public School Devsar up to eighth then went to Government Higher Secondary School Devsar from where he passed his twelfth grade to join the college.

Sensing the financial constraints he joined the Department of Education as a contractual orderly after his graduation to support his family. Meanwhile, he met an accident and got injured and also faced some health issues. But he never gave up.

On October 2016, Waseem joined the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj as VLW (village level worker). Though formally employed, Waseem did not stop from chasing his KAS dream.

“I have seen my family struggling to educate me, from the beginning I wanted to do something for them in return. So I decided to prepare myself for KAS,” Waseem said. “My support came from my family.”

In 2016, he made his first attempt in civil service but could not qualify. The failure did not discourage him. He resumed studies and finally made it to the list in 2018.

Waseem believes that one should never accept the defeat. “When I failed in the earlier attempt  I did not let myself feel low so I worked hard to improve myself and to figure out the mistakes like lack of proper revision and answer writing,” he said. “This introspection and the necessary corrections helped me the next time.”

The KAS examination, Waseem said, requires both hard work and smart work. He suggests that those who could not make it should introspect where they are lagging behind.

Interestingly, in September 2014, Waseem was selected by the Hajj Committee of India, Mumbai for the coaching of KAS but had to leave it midway due to some health issues. After recovery, he went to residential coaching academy Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. But he came back after some months when he got the job of VLW.

Waseem was working as VLW and preparing for the examination simultaneously. “I used to utilize whatever time I got in the morning and evening besides Sundays and holidays for preparation,” he said.

Waseem is impressed by Maulana Rumi, and remembers his saying: “As we start to walk the way appears”.

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