Srinagar: Twenty-six-year old doctor Ruvaida Salam has become the first woman from the Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir to have cracked the Civil Services examination. Her name is now added to the small list of youth valley icons like IAS topper Shah Faesal and cricketer Parvez Rasool. She has done the Valley proud by being first woman from backward frontier Kupwara district to crack the civil services - a hitherto uncharted territory for girls here.
"I was surprised when during the interview I was asked how a valley woman can pursue civil services as a career. I was told how women marry young in Kashmir and they are not supposed to work because of religion. This stereotypical image of Kashmiri women needs to go. I have got a tremendous response for girls who want tips to crack the exams," Ruvaida said.
A degree in medicine and success in state civil services, Kashmir Administrative Service, did not stop her from trying to achieve what she had set for. In the process, she gave up practising in the hospital and almost her job. She even refused marriage proposals.
At rank 804, Ruvaida Salam has been allotted police services, but her quest to excel and storm into more promising administrative services is prompting her to reappear and improve her score. A social media freak, Ruvaida refrains from gossip and opinionating.
Ruvaida is the first Kashmiri Muslim from Kupwara to break the civil services barrier. Her success will surely inspire more boys and girls of the valley to follow her footsteps and to take a shot at country's prestigious career services.