24-year-old Ghazi Abdullah's story is one of perseverance and hardship. The youth who recently secured the 46th rank in Kashmir Administrative Service exam had lost his father at an early age, and then spent several years in an orphanage.
Kashmir's Doda district has on many an occasion made headlines for unrest and clashes between militants and Indian security forces. And the situation had been far more grim in the 1990s. As per an article by Hindustan Times, while Abdullah had not known at the time, his father, a private school teacher had picked up arms and joined militancy before being killed in an encounter in 1998. At the time he had just been around two and a half years old.
The family faced many hardships in the ensuing years. Left without means, his mother was forced to send Abdullah to an orphanage for several years. As he told Hindustan Times, his mother earned a meagre honorarium of Rs 2,400 per month and as such, was unable to sustain a young child at home.
Cracking the KAS exam on the first attempt without any coaching may be an impressive feat, but it is not Abdullah's first academic laurel. He had been a Class 10 topper from the Kashmir division and had returned to Doda after Class 12. Meeting his expenses by giving private tuitions, he had eventually done his graduation in life sciences from Doda before getting his PG Botany degree from AMU.
"My stay at orphanage instilled discipline in me. The credit for my success goes to my mother," he told ANI.