Transforming a hurdle into a moment of opportunity, Dr. Shah Faesal coped with personal tragedy to become the first from the Kashmiri province to top the Union Public Service Commission 2009 examinations.
The untimely death of his father in 2002 at the hands of “unidentified militants” days before his Pre-Medical Test did not deter Dr. Faesal from clearing the test or from becoming the first candidate from Kashmir in several years to be selected to the Indian Administrative Service through open merit.
Dr.Faisal who turns 27 on May 17 was only 19 when his father, a teacher, was killed in Kupwara.
As friends, well-wishers and the media on Thursday thronged the Hamdard Study Circle premises here where the doctor took coaching for the Civil Services examination, Dr. Faesal said: “I had only two choices — to be bogged down or to stand up and face the challenge.”
A festive atmosphere prevailed as Dr. Faesal, attired in brown formals, articulated himself in well thought out and measured words, surrounded by people eager to shake hands with him and feed him sweets.
Asked why he chose not to pursue medicine, he said: “I felt that I could not have made a change by being at a hospital and wanted to work with the government.”
Appearing resolved about which service he wanted to get into, Dr. Faesal said: “I have chosen the Indian Administrative Service already.”
He would like to serve from Kashmir, as he was familiar with the environment and had a vision for it. However, he would not mind serving in any part of the country.