Ummid Assistant

Jamia Millia launches courses on China, Afghanistan

IGNOU launches value education programme for teachers

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Education & Career

Dubai-born Kashmiri brings 'change' to her village

Sunday January 08, 2012 02:49:39 PM, Binoo Joshi, IANS

Sabbah Haji with students of her school

(Photo: IANS)

Jammu: Moved by the plight of her remote village in Jammu and Kashmir state, a Kashmiri woman born and brought up in Dubai relinquished what could have been a lucrative career and opened a school there to usher in "change".

Sabbah Haji was born in Dubai in 1982 where her father was a manager in a shipping company. In 1997, her family shifted to Bangalore, from where Haji did her B.Com and nursed dreams of becoming a chartered accountant.

She started writing and editing for online journals, and prepared for her professional exams alongside. But the death of her grandfather in January 2009 changed her life in more ways than one.

She went to her native village Breswana in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir, and was immediately struck by what she saw.

"When I came here in 2009, what I saw was that nearly two generations of villagers had no education, due to the apathetic attitude of successive governments and militancy," Haji told IANS.

Breswana is located some 7,100 feet above sea level. The village is about a one-and-a-half-hour trek from the last motorable point about 43 km from Doda, which is 160 km northeast of Jammu.

Government schools remained shut during the peak of militancy. But she said even after normalcy returned, the situation did not improve.

"The teachers too would also attend the schools. The corruption is unparalleled and there is no accountability, especially in remote areas," she added.

"The improved situation now has not made a visible difference as teachers are abstaining like before from government schools. I hope the panchayat elected recently can bring in some checks and balances on corruption at local level.

"I was deeply moved by the condition of people of my village, which was engulfed by so many inadequacies," Haji said.

Not content with just sympathising, she decided to do something.

"And I thought of opening a school to give education to children here as I feel that education is the base for progress and development," she said.

Haji Public School was opened in May 2009. Her mother Tasneem Haji joined her as the school's co-director.

"It was only two rooms to begin with and now we have six rooms, up to the fourth grade," Sabbah says proudly.

The school is built on her own ancestral land. She plans to procure some more land as her "dream is to first take the school up to Class 10 and then finally to start a college by 2018-19."

Haji Public School now boasts of 150 students and 15 teachers. "Getting staff in this area is a problem but I am managing it as young people are coming forward. We are providing boarding and stipend to them," Haji said.

Zubair Ahmad Batt, 30, is one of the teachers at the school.

"It is a blessing to have such school in our village where our children can have good education, while it provides employment to youth here. The fee is also affordable," Batt told IANS.

Batt's four-year-old daughter Nigat Gul Batt too is studying in the upper kindergarten in the school.

Mohammad Farooq Lohar, whose three children are studying in this school, said: "Our area was bereft of education as only a handful could manage to send their children to Doda town for studies."

Haji, meanwhile, says she has no regrets of coming back as it was her dream to bring the "best education to Breswana".

But she feels that "tackling the corrupt system and unbelievable red tape" would be a tall task.

"I strictly follow rules and regulations," she added.

(Binoo Joshi can be contacted at







Bookmark and Share

Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS






Top Stories

Tortured for Mecca Masjid blast, money can't heal their wounds

From a bank executive to a medical student to the imam of a mosque to an embroidery worker, everyone arrested on false charges of involvement in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast  

Compensation, certificates to 61 Muslim youths tortured in blast case

'Short on funds' AP Govt to pay compensation from Mecca Masjid Account


  Most Read

Cover all statues of Mayawati, BSP symbol: Quraishi

In a landmark move, the Election Commission Saturday issued orders for covering all statues of Uttar Pradesh  

'Remove Uttar Pradesh home secretary, police chief'

Glimmer of hope for Bhopal gas victims, curative petition to be amended

The Bharatiya Janata Party ruled Madhya Pradesh Government has reportedly conceded to make corrections in the curative petition about the number of deaths and injuries before the Supreme Court. Leaders of five NGOs (non-Government organizations) working for the welfare of the survivors  


  News Pick

Badal vs Badal vs Badal in Punjab's Lambi seat

The Lambi assembly seat in Punjab has been famous for one thing - its legislator and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. But as the state goes in for the Jan 30  

Amarinder's brother leads list of Punjab Congress rebels

BJP: Hypocrisy of the holier-than-thou

After taking the high moral ground on the corruption issue in parliament and on the public stage with Anna Hazare, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fallen from grace on the eve of the Uttar Pradesh elections by inducting into the  

Freezing ties: Mamata challenges Congress to walk out

In an indication that all is not well within the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo  


Picture of the Day

Braving chilling cold, more than 10,000 people thronged the venue of the rally called by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) in Malegaon on January 04, 2012. The AIMPLB is carrying a nationwide campaign demanding amendments in the Right to Education Act and the proposed Direct Taxes Code Bill, and for a stronger Waqf Act.




RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us





    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2010 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.