Young boys and girls, born and brought up during turmoil, are now writing a new chapter of aspirational Kashmir by cracking civil services exams. This year, 10 candidates from the Valley have cleared the civils.
At 28-year-old law graduate Sheema Nabi’s house in Srinagar’s Habak neighbourhood, proud parents are garlanding her, celebrating their daughter’s big achievement.
“It is a very healthy trend in Kashmir because it is a good career option that’s open to everyone as long they are willing to work hard for it. It’s one of the fairest exams in the country and it is open to everyone, for aspirational people who want to do good in life,” said Ms Nabi.
Her father Dr Ghulam Nabi Qasba, a state government officer, says his daughter has made them proud and he is happy that many youngsters from Kashmir are now joining civil services.
“I think it’s a very good beginning and I hope more and more people make it to civil services,” said Dr Qaba.
This year’s second topper in the civil services list is also from Kashmir – 23-year-old Akhtar Amir Khan, the son of a school teacher from Anantnag district in south Kashmir, a region that has seen the revival of terrorism in the last year.
“As a civil servant there are a lot of areas where we can work, be it in terms of general governance, general administration, development, planning. I have opted for Jammu and Kashmir cadre. I think there is a lot of scope to fulfill the aspirations of the people from my state,” says Mr Khan.
Akhtar Amir Khan and many other young Kashmiris have been inspired by Shah Faesal, the 2009 IAS topper from the state. After his success, nearly 50 boys and girls from Jammu and Kashmir have cracked the civil service exams.