How This Daughter Emerged A Poor Family’s Game Changer?

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by Khalid Bashir Gura

SRINAGAR: Shaista Bashir a resident of Gund Roshan in Ganderbal has made her parents proud by qualifying National Entrance Eligibility Test (NEET) examination and has secured an MBBS seat in the second round of counselling at Jammu. She is the daughter of an underprivileged family. Her father is a village barber.

“I am happy for what I have achieved and it is because of my parents, teachers who trusted and supported me all through the journey,” she said, insisting she worked hard and remained focused throughout. “We can achieve success only through hard work. Great talents get wasted in absence of guidance, dedication and hard work.”

Pandemic lockdown enclosed everyone and education got impacted adversely. Students and institutions had to pursue education and learning via online, which in turn was made cumbersome by throttling 2G speed. But Shaista who was preparing for NEET during lockdown as her exams were scheduled in September, sensed an opportunity in preparing by studying at home and boosting her confidence. “Lockdown gave a lot of time to prepare,” she said.

Shaista Bashir with her father Bashir Ahmad and brother. KL Image: Shuaib Wani

Interestingly, she required not to be on-line because she did not own a phone at all. As the internet and mobile phones are playing an important role in imparting education, Shaista choose to study by conventional books only. “I have no mobile phone and I do not use social media,” Shaista said, adding that it helped her focus and stay away from distraction.

As thick reference books always haunt students irrespective of merit, Shaista believes that less is more. “We students often wonder and get disturbed by thick books as to when we will complete them. But the solution to the problem is NCERT books,” she said.

Speaking of her daily routine and her source of motivation she said that it varies from individual to individual but our schedule should be such that there should be scope for studies as well as playing so that we do not get stressed.

“At times I used to get stressed or started to worry about whether I will be able to crack it or not,” she said, but my source of motivation was my parents and teachers who always with their pep talks inspired me to aspire and persist towards goal.  It was the toppers of civil services and other exams that inspired her to dream.

Shaista’s dreams did not make her abandon her conventional role of a girl at home that is to help her mother in the kitchen. “I would ensure helping my mother in cooking and washing,” she said. “I used to complement it with my studies.”

Speaking about the role and support of a family in fulfilling her dreams to become a doctor, she said that she is thankful to her father for his trust. “I am successful because of their prayers.”

Shaista Bashir. KL Image by Shuaib Wani

As she belongs to a humble background, speaking of the financial constraints that family often faced, Shaista ensured that she does not overburden her family with frivolous expenses. “I used to spend pocket money on Eid on my books. Most of the times teachers provided me with books.”

Speaking about the role of coaching institutions she said one should go for it if one can afford but it all boils down to self-studies and hard work.

Her father Bashir Ahmad Hajam, could not hold his tears of joy as he saw his daughter being felicitated for her success. “I am proud that my daughter has achieved a rare feat despite studying in government school’s all her life and with limited financial resources.”

Shaista’s father, Bashir Ahmad Hajam, had never expected his children to study beyond primary school due to poverty. “I had dreamed of educating them and not see them illiterate and unable to write one’s own name.” Hajam, says that his entire village is proud of his daughter’s achievement and other students have also started to dream to crack the prestigious NEET exams.

Hajam broke down as he recalls his struggle with poverty and bringing up children. “I am thankful to the teachers who supported and encouraged my daughter. Their role has been immense.”

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About Author

A Mass Communication and Journalism postgraduate from the University of Kashmir, Khalid is a writer by choice and a journalist by chance.

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