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Published in the 16-31 May 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

PROFILES
Disabled youth may make it to civil service

Physical disability of whatever nature is generally considered a drawback to progress in our society. But there are people who never allow it to be a hindrance in achieving their goals in life. Here is a story of one such courageous youth.

Riyaz Ahmad Beigh, a physically challenged youth who lost both his hands in an accident at the tender age of four, successfully qualified main examinations for the Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) in Open Merit. As the interview finished Riyaz came out full of optimism and confidence that he would make it to KAS. 

Riyaz Ahmad Beigh, a physically challenged youth who lost both his hands in an accident at the tender age of four, successfully qualified main examinations for the Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) in Open Merit. As the interview finished Riyaz came out full of optimism and confidence that he would make it to KAS. 

After Riyaz qualified in the mains, MA Murtaza, chairman of J&K Public Service Commission, and one of the members of the interview board said "We at PSC feel that we would be sending such a person to the government who is capable enough to deliver the goods. Riyaz has done his parents and the entire society proud.

His father, Ghulam Mohiuddin Beigh, an accountant in the Department of Finance is overjoyed with his son's performance. He says Riyaz has worked hard to reach this far in his life. He further says that he had apprehensions about his son's future "but he proved me wrong."

A former student of Tyndale Biscoe School, Srinagar, Riyaz graduated from Bemina Degree College, Srinagar and obtained his masters degree from the Department of Management, University of Kashmir. 

He joined SN Das Gupta College, a private college, which started coaching for KAS two years ago. Out of 58 KAS aspirants of the college, 41 were selected for the interview. Riyaz is one of them. 

Riyaz has qualified the prelims and mains with management and sociology and is sure that he would qualify other tests too. He is now looking forward to passing the IAS examinations. 

Riyaz recalls the day in 1982 when he lost his limbs. He was playing football with other children. As the ball was kicked far, Riyaz went to fetch it. The ball was lying near a transformer which had no wiring or grill around it. As he went there, he received a high voltage electric shock resulting in the loss of both of his arms. 

The electric department paid a meagre compensation and that too after he fought the case for six long years in Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Fighting a case must have given extra confidence to Riyaz making him stronger in his resolution to win other battles of his life. He says that his corporal deformity has given him more determination to pass every test of life. 

Riyaz did not confine himself to education. He wanted to prove to every physically challenged person and even to the physically sound people that anything could be achieved if there was determination. He represented the university football team. He also swims and takes part in other activities and says "If I can do all these things then there is no reason why other physically challenged persons can't do the same." Yes, they can, if only they have his determination. 

Riyaz advises the youth to appear in competitive examinations. He says there is no reason why youth from the Valley can't pass the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) examinations.

Riyaz says that physically challenged persons can prove better than the physically fit persons as they have more challenges to face in life which make them stronger. 

Bereft of both hands, Riyaz wrote examination papers with artificial limbs while officials on duty would turn the pages for him. He can also write with his toes and lips. 

Riyaz believes that no physical deformity can halt a man from making progress if he takes the challenge head-on. Why not, he has proved it.

Manzar Imam

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