At a time when Kashmir continues to be a victim of terrorism and unrest, with a fresh wave unleashed following the killing of Hizbul commander Sabzar Bhat by security forces, Bilal Mohi Ud Din Bhat comes across as an inspiration for many in the Valley
Bhat has succeeded in bagging the tenth rank in the UPSC Civil Services examination, the results of which were declared yesterday.
Making the violence-hit state and the nation proud, Bilal said that he had his heart set on the prestigious administrative services since childhood.
He said that “his achievement will mean a lot to the people of the Valley and inspire the youth to make a career in the civil services”.
Bhat, a veterinarian by qualification and an Indian Forest Service officer of 2013 batch, said he belonged to the remote Haripora Younis village in Handwara tehsil of Kupwara district and had his heart set on getting into the civil services.
This was his fourth civil services attempt and topping it is a “dream come true” for him.
"My father served as a state administrative cadre officer and his dedication and hard work has been my motivation to make it to the civil services," he said, adding his mother was a housewife, "who has toiled all her life living dreams for us".
Bhat, who is the youngest among four brothers and a sister, also said that he would not attribute my success to any single person.
"I owe my success to my parents, sister, brothers, friends and well-wishers. Everyone has encouraged me to try hard and not get disappointed by failures... those are always temporary unless you accept them as your final destiny."
Asked what message he has for Kashmiri youth who are presently at a crossroads due to the prevailing situation in the Valley, Bhat said: "I am not qualified to give advice, but I can only suggest and request.
"Work hard and there is no career you can make to.
"First and foremost priority of our boys and girls should be to realise the dreams parents have seen for them.
"Kashmiri boys and girls have the sky as the limit provided they aim high."
Bhat's father, Ghulam Mohiuddin Bhat is a retired Kashmir Administrative Service officer of 1984 batch.
For the first time this year, 14 candidates from Jammu and Kashmir have made it to the civil services selection list.
Besides Bhat, others who made it to the civil services this year are Bisma Qazi at 115th rank, Suhail at 125th, Fakruddin at 85th, Anayat Choudhary at 808th, Inayat Khaliq at 605th, Saqib at 472th and Sahil Dhingra at 917th rank.
Bhat’s achievement is a defying show for the militants and separatists who threaten those who tend to support the security apparatus in the Valley or take up government jobs.
Such threats from terrorists and separatists doesn’t seem to have worked as nearly 1,300 Kashmiri youths appeared in the Army’s common entrance exam last week.
Experts believe that locals getting a source of income from the government would alter the sentiment dramatically, something that would demolish the intent of those who stoke disturbances in the restive region.