Insha Zahoor at AMU convocation.

Defying conventions Shopian’s Insha Zahoor bagged three gold medals at a recently held convocation in AMU. Saima Bhat talks about her journey

Insha Zahoor, 26, was confident that she will top in her department, but once her name cropped in three lists as topper, she was elated. A resident of Bongam in Shopian town, Insha, completed her post graduation in engineering (M Tec) from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in 2016.

In an annual convocation held in November, Insha bagged three gold medals for her outstanding academic performance. “The first person I called was my father,” said Insha. “It is because of his blessings that I could reach this level.”

An alumnus of Makhtaba Islamia School, after passing her Class 10 exams, Insha studied medical. Insha qualified BSC agriculture, but decided to try her luck in Food Technology from Islamic University of Science and Technology, instead.

In 2014, after completed her degree, Insha appeared for Indian Council of Agriculture Research, in Delhi. She was ranked 27th, which would have helped her get into any top college in India. However, in the meanwhile, Insha appeared in an entrance test for M Tec in Agriculture Process and Food Engineering’ at AMU and got selected. “I chose AMU over everything else,” said Insha.

During her two year at AMU, she topped in all the four semesters.

Insha displaying her gold medals at AMU convocation.

After her last semester exams, Insha, the eldest and lone daughter among two children, decided to come home to celebrate Eid. “I have planned her stay for at least ten days,” said Insha who had to appear for viva exams on July 22.

But all her plans were put on hold after the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8. “The following days were painful as deaths became a routine,” said Insha. “I had to appear in my viva but reaching the airport was impossible.”

On July 16, Insha, accompanied by her brother, left home in a cab via Mughal road at dawn.

After reaching Rajouri passengers were asked to switch cabs to reach Jammu. “The same day I left for Delhi,” said Insha.

Born in a middle class family, Insha, a pampered child, had ‘academics’ and ‘research’ always at the top of her mind. After finishing her post graduations, she started preparing for PhD entrance. And before annual convocation, she says she was the only scholar selected among fifteen students of her batch in AMU.

“I had a desire to continue my studies in same university as the environment suited me,” said Insha. “It felt like I was at home in AMU.”

Currently Insha is research in the department of ‘Post harvest Engineering and Technology.

After receiving three gold medals, soft spoken Insha still giggles while recalling the moment when she found her name topping in three lists.

“When I saw the list, I thought it might be just one medal but when I heard I have got three, I was super excited.”


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