by Urvat Il Wuska
SRINAGAR: Naseem Akram, a Surankote resident in Poonch cracked KAS with the rank 30. He did not only made his parents proud but he proved that despite living in such remote area and perpetually in tension because of the Line of Control (LoC) he could still success.
But Naseem is not alone. There are three others from this Kashmiri-speaking Poonch town that have made to the coveted services in the list released last week. All of them have proved their mettle despite the challenging situation in which they live. The LoC actually passes through part of the Surankote.
Naseem is the son of Muzamil Hussain, an Urdu lecturer and Hafiza Jan. He has one elder brother, and two sisters, one settled and another pursuing her MSc.
Naseem, 27, always believed in hard work and dedication. Since 2016 he gave four attempts to the UPSC in preliminary and had also written mains twice but could not qualify. The journey of success for him was not that easy, it was in his second chance for KAS that he qualified.
“It was only with the support of my parents that I achieved my goal. After my results came out I am feeling as if it’s their part of the dream that comes true,” Waseem said on phone. His father, Naseem said never asked him to get into earn despite challenging situations in the family, at some point of time. He wanted his son to chase his dream.
Naseem has pursued his B Tech from Baba Ghulam Shah University, Rajouri, in the civil engineering branch. After his schooling from a government school, Surankote, he moved to Rajouri for higher studies. “Being a resident of a remote area and due to lack of proper guidance I was not much aware of these kinds of competitive examinations but after I came to know I decided to do my best to qualify it,” he said.
He went to Delhi for coaching through NGO Zakat Foundation. Naseem was always good in his studies from childhood. He is a gold medallist of his 2011 B Tech batch and has also qualified NET in sociology. “I opted for sociology as an optional subject in KAS as I was much interested in learning about the society and it has also helped me to increase my grades,” he said.
Naseem believes that self-study is very important to crack competitive examinations. According to him, one should use strategies for examinations. “Everyone can tell you what to study but I think much important for these kinds of exams is to know what not to study,” he said.
Besides studies, he likes poetry a lot. In his spare time, he would like to write Urdu poetry.
Naveel Hamdani, another resident of Surankote falls in KAS-2018 rank 66. Son of Zakir Hussain Shah, a retired sub-inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police, and Aisha Begum, Naveel is younger among his siblings having two elder brothers and two sisters. His brothers are in business but his sister is a lawyer, another one is doing the job. Naveel has received no formal coaching. He rather preferred self-study mode to crack this exam.
“I owe every bit of my success firstly to my teachers right from college up to MA and to my parents who supported me in this journey,” he said. He admitted his inspiration was his own childhood dream of being a KAS officer.
Naveel always believed in keeping higher goals in life. He said that he will not stop at this achievement as his next goal is to crack UPSC. But after being tested as Covid-19 positive he couldn’t appear in the examination on Sunday.
Naveel said that during the late 1990s his family migrated to Bantalaab, Jammu due to militancy but he has still his roots in Surankote. After doing his primary education from Surankote, Naveel completed his higher education in Jammu. He has pursued BSc from GGM Science College. Naveel did his masters in political science from the University of Jammu. Later, he briefly worked at KC Law College. Early this year, he was selected as Naib tehsildar.
Anam Manhas hailing from the same town is also in the list. Daughter of Zeenat Zahoor Manhas, a government employee in the agricultural department and Naida Parveen, a school teacher, Anam is eldest among the siblings having two brothers.
Anam qualified the exam in the very first attempt and got 51 rank with sociology as her optional subject. She believes that hard work is the key to success.
After doing her schooling from Sarunkote, she moved to Jammu where she completed her higher studies. Anam got selected in BDS in 2011 and did her internship till 2017.
Anam said that she would like to dedicate her success, especially to her parents. “My parents always supported me. They always allowed me to do whatever I want to do in my life,” she said.
“It was during my internship that I decided to go for civil service as I got inspired by many of my seniors,” Anam said. For that, she went for coaching from an institute in Jammu but there was some changes in the syllabus later so she had to go through self-preparation mode then.
Tahir Hafiz, 25 belongs to village Marhote in Surankote. He has qualified the examination with rank 55 without going to any coaching institute. Tahir has opted for anthropology as his optional subject. Tahir completed his post-graduation in 2017 from department Zoology, University of Jammu.
Tahir believes that he looks at this achievement as a starting of his journey towards success “I have to travel miles before I sleep”.
“It is a process one has to master for eventual success in life, that is beyond these examinations,” he said. He believes the examination itself is not as harsh as it is being said. He first prepared for UPSC as KAS was never on his mind. “It was only when the syllabus of JKPSC KAS was realigned on the lines of UPSC and considering the employment crunch that the entire country is facing that I applied for Kashmir Administrative services,” Tahir said. He was working as a UPSC trainer for civil services teaching ethics in reputed national institutes of the country.