On Sunday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh met Nabeel Ahmad Wani, who has topped the recruitment examination to join the Border Security Forces (BSF), reports said. The name, Wani, has an obvious resonance in the current circumstances, with Kashmir experiencing weeks of unrest since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen leader, Burhan Wani, in July this year.
Wani, 26, is from Udhampur in Kashmir. He was educated at NITL Higher Secondary School there and then completed a B. Tech from Pathankot in Punjab.
"I belong to a lower middle-class family.... I studied in a normal school in the district and went Punjab to study engineering to fulfil my father's dream. Our economic condition was not such that I could go to a big college, but with the support of the government-sponsored minority scholarships that paved way for me to complete my engineering," The Indian Express quoted him as saying.
After his schoolteacher father, Rafiq Ahmed died two years ago, Wani was brought up by his mother, Hanifa Begum, who is a homemaker. While preparing for his examinations, Wani would earn extra money by giving lessons to others and send it to his sister, who is studying engineering in Chandigarh.
Singh expressed his delight on Twitter after meeting Wani, who was accompanied by Director General of BSF, K.K. Sharma.
Happy to meet Nabeel Ahmad Wani, a young man from Udhampur in J&K, who topped the BSF entrance exams this year. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/EC3HM7yDa9— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) September 11, 2016
The success story of Nabeel Wani shows that J&K youth have a lot of potential. His success will inspire many young boys & girls in J&K. 2/2— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) September 11, 2016
He also introduced Wani to National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and others, who had come for a meeting around that time.
Speaking to television channels later, Wani said unemployment was a major crisis faced by the youth in Kashmir. "The more educated we are, the better jobs we will get. We cannot get education by taking up stones but by holding a pen," he added.
Currently a contractual junior engineer in Udhampur, Wani will be joining the BSF as an assistant commandant. He had taken the examination in 2013, too, but had failed to qualify. Determined to join the armed forces, he took it again this year and topped it.
Speaking to ToI, on the phone from Udhampur, Wani's mother said she was very happy that her son's dream had been fulfilled. "I know he will work with honesty and dedication and will bring laurels to the country," she added. "Every boy and girl (in the Valley) should follow their dreams and they will achieve them one day. They should work hard and make India proud."
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