This 19-Year-Old Shakeel Could Be The First IITian From Kashmir’s Shagundld Be The First IITian From Kashmir’s Shagund
SRINAGAR: Living in abject poverty, 19-year-old Shakeel Ahmad Dar has made his mother and a village proud.Shakeel has cracked the JEE or joint entrance examination. He is the first boy from Shagund village who will go on to become an engineer. In a two room structure they call home, the four members of Shakeel’s family share the space with goats.
“It has been very difficult to study in such circumstances where you have goats in one room and have to study and live in the other room” said Shakeel Ahmad.
His journey has been far from easy but he’s well on his way to fulfill his dream. With some help from the army and the Centre for Social Responsibility and Leadership or CSRL, Shakeel qualified for the IIT Advance exam after he was selected for the Kashmir Super 30 student programme which offers intensive academic training free-of-cost to poor but meritorious students
But, despite this Shakeel’s future is uncertain. With no money for fees for either IIT Advance or admission to NIT Srinagar.”I was eligible for IIT Advance but I had to opt out because I had no money, Rs. 10, 000 for exam fee,” he said.
While Shakeel has already qualified for NIT, he doesn’t have money to pay the fees. “Sir, the fees is Rs. 1.25 Lakh annually and I cant afford that. You can see our background. How can we afford Rs. 6 Lakh for four years.”Nine years ago, his father’s death forced young Shakeel and and his brothers into work. But, his mother Fareeda pushed him to continue studying.
She once sold her traditional cloak or Pheran to pay the son’s fees.”What can we do now. If you please help .. If some one helps us. We can’t afford his fee. I was telling my son that I will go and meet Shah Faisal (Kashmir’s youth icon and IAS 2010 batch topper) and request him for help” she said.