A young man from a remote village near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir has created a record by becoming the first Gujjar from the state to make it to the Indian Administrative Service.
Shahid Iqbal Choudhary (28), a veterinary surgeon and an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, ranked 51 in the open merit list for 2008. The list was declared on Monday by the Union Public Service Commission.
A resident of Rehan village in Budhal tehsil of Rajouri in Jammu, Shahid is also the first Muslim from Jammu to become an IAS officer. Shahid told Hindustan Times over the phone, “I attribute my success to the Almighty and my family members who always stood by me.”
Shahid’s is a true success story. Son of a minor official in the state revenue department, Shahid had to trek 16 km everyday to his school. He obtained a Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences degree from Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology in Jammu and also qualified for the IFS in 2005.
“I started learning the English alphabet at the age of 12 in class VI. The entry to the country’s elite service has never been an easy one,” said Shahid, who is currently posted in Srinagar as a Divisional Forest Officer.
On the reasons for his aspiring to be an IAS officer, Shahid said, “I wanted to do good to maximum number of people and this could be possible only if I held a position of authority. So, I decided to sit for the exam.”