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Shah Faisal IAS reaches home to hero's welcome

Shah Faisal, first Kashmiri to top IAS exams

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Civil Services exam topper, an ardent RTI activist

Sunday, May 09, 2010 08:20:01 PM, Aamir Nowshahri, IANS

Kashmiri doctor who tops IAS exam wants to be role model: A Kashmiri doctor who has made .... Read Full

Shah Faisal IAS reaches home to hero's welcome

Shah Faisal, first Kashmiri to top IAS exams

New Delhi: For Shah Faisal, the first Kashmiri to top the civil services examination, joining the country's most elite service may have been his biggest dream, but there is another subject very close to his heart - the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

"The RTI act is a harbinger of change. We can make a difference if we know how to use it," said Faisal, a doctor from the remote district of Kupwara.

An RTI activist since his college days, he has been associated with the Jammu and Kashmir RTI Movement, an NGO started in Kashmir by two doctors-- Muzaffar Bhat and Sheikh Ghulam Rasool.

The NGO works at the ground level to make people aware about how they can use the RTI act for their benefit.

Faisal is keen at getting a posting in his home state so that he can make his contribution towards popularising the RTI act.

During his college days, Faisal also started contributing write-ups to local English newspapers in Srinagar. He mostly wrote on social issues and RTI.

When asked about Faesal's writings, Majid Maqbool, who worked with Srinagar-based English daily Greater Kashmir as sub-editor, told IANS: "The most exceptional thing about Faesal's write-ups was that they needed no editing. He always knew what he wanted to say and how to say it."

He has come up with inspirational achievements throughout his life.

Faisal was the first student ever from Government Higher Secondary School, Sogam -- his alma mater -- to score a distinction in the matriculation exam. He took the exam in 1998.

"I was the first student from my village to score more than eighty percent marks in class tenth," Faisal told IANS.

Commitment to a task assigned has been Faesal's hallmark form an early age. "He actually went out during exam hours to get a logarithmic table from the market when the invigilating authorities failed to provide one for the mathematics paper in the matriculation exam," added Muneeb, a childhood friend.

Faisal appeared for the state medical entrance exam three days after his father's killing in 2002. He qualified with flying colours, much to the surprise of many around him.

"It was unbelievable that he could secure a good rank in the exam on the day of the Rasm-e-Charum of his slain father," Mohammad Yahya, a high school friend of Faisal told IANS.

"I decided to put the loss behind me and move ahead in life," is what Faisal had to say about the tragedy that struck him at a crucial point in his academic career.

At the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) too, Faisal was an exceptional student, who also took an active part in extra-curricular activities. His all-round capabilities saw him being elected to the post of general secretary of the college students' union.

"He was good at whatever he did. Anybody who knew him from close circles would not be surprised at his success," said Shumail Bashir, Faesal's senior in college.




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