Shahera Bhat hails from the most volatile area in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tral but the violence in the region did not prevent her from being the state topper in her Class 12 board examination.
She is a student of the Government Higher Secondary School in Dardsara, where Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani studied and whose death in an encounter with security forces on July 8 last year sent the valley into a spiral of violence.
Shahera, the daughter of chemistry lecturer Shameem Ahmed Bhat, scored 498 marks out of 500 in the exam.
She attributed her success to all those who supported her throughout her preparation. She took tuitions from a coaching centre in Srinagar as the situation in her hometown was worse.
“I am very happy with my result and I want to thank god and all those who supported me in achieving this feat,” she told ANI.
She has already set her eyes on another goal. “I’m preparing for my NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) exam as I want to pursue medical line,” she added.
Her proud parents thanked the almighty for the blessing and hope that her future is bright.
The last few months were unsettling for the valley with a series of violent protests, curfews and shutdowns that brought the daily life to a halt.
A shutdown called by separatist groups stretched for 133 days following Wani’s death. The violence that followed claimed the lives of 94 people and left over 15,000, including security forces, injured.
Academic activities were the worst affected during the protests and schools and colleges remained closed for around five months and students were asked to prepare for their exams at home.
During this period, many schools were torched throughout the valley.