All praise for Allah that a Muslim Kashmiri Topped the IAS Exam. in a country of 1.2 biilion people.
IAS Topper's Interviews
•IAS 2009 Topper : Dr Shah Faisal
IAS 2009 Topper : Dr Shah Faisal
The Times Of India:
He comes from a remote village in Kupwara district of strife-torn Kashmir and studied in a village school. Eight years ago, his father was gunned down by militants. But Dr Shah Faisal, a 26-year-old MBBS, has fought the odds and won. On Thursday, Faisal became the first Kashmiri ever to top the civil services exam. "I don't have words to express how I feel, I am not able to speak. I just wish I was with my family. I am just waiting to hug my mother," Faisal, who came to the capital before the results to "get away from the stress of waiting", told TOI. Even through the elation, Faisal gets emotional at the mention of Kashmir. Describing himself as a victim of conflict, he says, "I have watched the bloodshed in Kashmir very closely. I was devastated when my father Ghulam Rasool Shah was gunned down. It is him that I miss the most today. He used to dote on me and taught me English and maths when I studied in school," he says. In Srinagar, his mother Mubeena Begum, thrilled beyond words, says, "Faisal has made every Kashmiri proud with his hard work and dedication." Her husband, she says, was killed because he refused shelter to militants. Ironically, it was the tragedy that opened a window to the wider world for the family. "After the killing, I shifted from village Sheikh Nar in Lolab Sogam area of Kupwara to Srinagar with my children ^ two sons and a daughter. My elder son Shah Faisal had done his class X from Sogam high school while my two other children were in middle school there. I was a broken woman but never gave up and fought against all odds to bring up my children," says Mubeena, a teacher, like her husband. Faisal, who did his MBBS from Srinagar's Sher-i-Kashmir Medical College, says he was confident of qualifying but never imagined he would be right on top. His mission now is to serve his people in the strife torn area of Kashmir. "I wanted to serve my people and in the role of an IAS officer I would like to reduce the communication gap between the people and the administration. I will give audience to them to hear their problems, cares and worries. I want to bring a change, especially for women and the youth," he says, insisting that he never received any formal training for the UPSC exam. Among his inspirations, Faisal counts an IPS officer from his state. "I was inspired by one Abdul Gani Mir of my area in Kupwara, who passed his IPS in 1994. I have been in touch with him since 2007, when I thought of sitting for the civil services exams," he says. Gani is currently DIG, CID in Jammu and Kashmir Police. Faisal's younger brother Shah Nawaz is also a doctor while his younger sister Talat Shah is a library assistant.