1) First of all, tell us a little bit about your background and your academic journey to this point.
A.I was born and brought up in Jamshedpur and completed my schooling from there only. Did my 10th from J H Tarapore School and my 12th from Sacred Heart Convent School. Then I took a drop year to prepare for NEET UG which I cleared in 2014 and took admission in RIMS, Ranchi for MBBS.
2) You have cleared the Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) and secured the highest rank. What made this possible?
A.This exam was for Medical Officers conducted by JPSC. This post is for medical graduates to hold a post in different healthcare centers of the state. My securing 1st rank is a blessing of Allah, the Almightyand by prayers of my parents. My husband played a big role in my preparation.
3)The news reports spoke about the support system of your family and spouse in this journey of yours. How important do you think this support is for striving women in our country, who often are forced to choose between their dreams and their personal lives?
A.Yes, it is one of the prime factors playing a role in any woman’s success, be it professional or personal, because a woman has to play many roles – daughter, mother, wife…she has to do everything at the same time. In those scenarios, if she is not getting help from her family, be it physical or mental, it gets frustrating and tough for a woman just to survive in society, let alone secure any top rank. It would have been an impossible journey for me if not for those people in my family who supported me. To add to that, a woman’s future starts from her upbringing. Someone who is brought up as strong, and independent will definitely have a successful life because every step she will take will be in that forward direction. She will know her role in society and will be able to envision where she wants to go in life. The first step is putting an idea in little girls’ heads that your role can be big, and that you can dream of anything you want. Sometimes there is a big question in the woman’s head itself that if she chooses one or the other (personal or professional life) she will compromise on the other. But I never liked this idea. I used to hear my colleagues saying that they are putting their personal lives on hold to crack an exam. But I used to not like this. If it’s humanly possible, one should try to fulfil all these dreams and strike a balance.
4)One thing that I have observed is that while many students and youth do make it to the UPSC or other state commissions, or the police and bureaucracy in general, there is a question mark that remains on how much they can efficiently work in times of rampant corruption, red-tapism or pressure from above. How do you plan to work around this?
A. The exam I’ve cracked is purely an academic and medical service examination. So, I don’t really know what kind of red-tapism I’ll be facing, but I’m sure I’ll manage everything, hopefully, In Sha Allah. My key to this would be staying true to myself. After all, I have to answer to Allah eventually. So, I’ll try to do as best as possible.
5)What role do you think civil service aspirants and those who ‘crack’ the exams have to play in society?
A. So, just to clear it out, it’s a medical service exam, for the post of medical offers. They play the role of bringing a gap between the government and the common people. The government passes many laws, frames policies and many health programmes for common people to help them maintain good health but for many reasons, people don’t know about it much or the implementation fails. So, the role of the medical officer is to help poor people ensure equitable access to health and look after these programs and ensure they run smoothly at all levels of governance.
6)I am not sure if you saw this film – Kantara – and the subplot of a forest officer who is caught between serving her duty and how it clashes with the needs of her marginalized indigenous community, to the point that she sort of becomes the oppressor itself, before making a choice. But this is a well-known debate, particularly for Muslims and other marginalized students when entering the police, army, or civil service. I know this is a controversial question and you may choose to ignore it, but your thoughts?
A. I haven’t watched it, but I’ll answer your question. It’s a controversial time in itself. Anything we do will get highlighted, and some responses will be good, others bad. But while there may be grey areas in this world (dunya), there are no grey areas in front of God. I think that’s the ultimate justice system we should consider ourselves standing in front of. Whatever we do, whatever traps we get ourselves into, the only way out is holding onto that light that guides us. I hope I won’t be getting into such controversies! If you talk to any doctor or anyone in medical service, you will realise that the medical service is one of the most selfless services out there. Like we saw in COVID times. That’s the feeling that we have built into ourselves, from the day we get into the medical college. We are not like God. But we have to do the best for our patients. I want to provide equal resources to everyone in society, whoever needs it, irrespective of caste, gender etc.