Tral, a town in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district and the hotbed for militants, earned a whole new recognition when Shaheera Ahmed from Tral topped the state board class 12 exams with 498 marks out of 500. 18-year-old Shaheera hails from Dadsara village, which is also the hometown of the Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, a militant. Most significantly, she studied in the same school where Burhan used to study before joining militancy.
Post Wani’s death when the entire valley of Kashmir was on the boil since July 2016, Shaheera choose to pick up her books and study as much as she can. When some hatemongers were burning schools and the schools were shut down for nearly five months, Shaheera didn’t let anything distract her from books.
“I had made up my mind that I have to study. I didn’t allow myself to get distracted. The screaming loudspeakers for 24 hours did not deter me,” said the topper.
Shaheera has been always good in academics and secured the second position in class 10th board exams. Her parents didn’t expect such a remarkable result from her in class 12th considering the ongoing unrest in Kashmir. But Shaheera was determined to come first in class 12 board exam.
Dadsara village in Tral is known for adoring terrorists. After Burhan Wani’s death, every school in Kashmir were shut down. Shaheera used to go to a community school in the village that helped her in studies.
“Individually, she was going to community teachers. One took physics classes, one took maths, another taught her chemistry and they helped her complete the syllabus,” said her father, Shameem Ahmad.
“Only we know under which circumstances she has studied to achieve this”, said Shaheera’s mother.
This topper now wishes to pursue Medical Science. She said, she wants to crack the National Eligibility cum Entrance Examination (NEET) in future and become a doctor.
Such a remarkable result by Shaheera Ahmad is tremendous especially when the valley was crippled for five long months. New Age Kashmir is delighted at Shaheera’s feat and pays respect to her for inspiring many other children in the valley to be friends with books and not wars.