Three students from Kashmir have received gold medal for their academic excellence this year. Junaid Nabi Bazaz and Muheet-Ul-Islam report. 

Arjumand Farkh
Arjumand Farkh is the first gold medalist from Kullar village of district Anantnag. She received this award for securing the top position in M Sc Environmental Botany at Jamia Hamdard University. The award was presented to her by former president of India, APJ Abdul Kalam.

“The reason for this success is my hard work. At the end I reached my goal,” says a jubilant Arjumand.

Arjumand dreamt of achieving something when she failed to qualify the state’s medical entrance test. “I didn’t lose hope. Instead I set a plan which I followed strictly and calmly. And today’s triumph is a result of that,” she said.

She has been a keen learner since she was a child. “My schooling had a profound effect on my overall studies,” she said.  “During that period I also won many awards but this is the biggest and means a lot for me.”

Arjumand completed her graduation from her remote village, and for post graduation she opted to give the Jamia Hamdard entrance exam, which she topped. “On that day I promised myself, I will sustain it throughout my entire course. Which happened, with the grace of God,” recollects Arjumand with a grin.

Ajumand credits her success to her hard work and her parents. She says her parents allowed her to study outside the state without showing any discontent. “Had I not been allowed to go outside, this feat would not have been possible,” she says.

Kashmir was on her mind when she thought about her research topic. “I kept Kashmir’s environment in mind,” she says. “As the population is growing each day there would be scarcity of food. I researched how we could produce more food through plant genetics. In doing so, my interest increased.  Now I do it more as a passion than as a subject.”

Sumaya Siddique
A 27 year old girl of Mohalla Jadeed in Baramullah district has achieved a remarkable honor in the field of nursing. She passed her 12th  from the Govt. Girls Higher Secondary School in Baramulla, went to Jamia Hamdard University in Delhi for further studies; where she stood first and won the gold medal in M Sc obstetrics and nursing.

Sumaya Siddique is the daughter of Ghulam Nabi Siddique, a chemist well known in their locality. “I was in 8th when my parents told me that I have to opt for this course, and by 12th my mind was made up to go for this course,” she said. “Sumaya was brilliant from her childhood and usually worked hard,” her mother Haleema said. “I chose this profession for my daughter because I myself am a nurse and her elder sister is also a nurse. So we knew that she do well in this profession,” she added.

Sumaya was glad to know that the topper would get a gold medal upon course completion. “I thought I might be able to win it if I work hard,” she said.

However, her dream of winning the medal was not easy. She acquired a dangerous, deadly virus, dengue. “She was admitted in the hospital for a while, but she still went to college, sometimes on a wheelchair” her father said.

Sumaya says her mother is the reason for her success.  “I showed her practically what to do and what not to,” her mother said. “We are very proud of our daughter,” she added.

Sumaya is currently working in SMHS hospital as a ward in charge and has recently qualified for P Sc exam.
In addition to Sumaya Siddique and Arjumand Farkh, Shahnawaz Ahmed from Sopore district received the gold medal for industrial chemistry.


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