Yasmin's will finds a way: Madrasa to Dy SP

A lesson to Muslim girls and boys

While studying in a SMC (Surat Municipal Corp.) Primary School, generally considered as dirty, filthy and backward, Yasmin Shaikh of Ring Road, Surat wanted to become a physician. She enjoyed sufficient intelligence to be a doctor. But Yasmin knew that her father, a primary teacher, was not having enough money for such an expensive education. Therefore, she chose arts instead of science and ultimately became a teacher. But she was having a pain in her heart for not being able to become a doctor. She may have failed to become a doctor, but she succeeded in qualifying for prestigious and more powerful Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy. S.P.) post.

Yasmin Muhammad Sajid Shaikh is now qualified and worthy of directly becoming Dy. SP, Yasmin says, ‘This success was not achieved easily.’ For that purpose she was required to work hard for 20 hours out of 24 hours. She worked hard constantly to prepare for a difficult competition.

Gujarat Public Service Commission (G.P.S.C.) examination over and above her school duty, tuition, house care and child care. Narrating her struggle, right from primary school to become a class one Police officer, she says, ‘When I was admitted in a high school named Madrasa Tayabiah High School in Surat, after completing my studies from SMC Primary School girls studying in my class and also other girls were hesitant to become my friends. they were saying, Yasmin is coming from a ‘numbered’ school (earlier govt. primary schools were known by numbers, now recently they have been given names)’ therefore let us avoid her. Her struggle was not yet over even after completing Madrasa High School. As she got very good percentage of marks in 12th std., she easily got admission in the best M.T.B. College of Surat city.

‘Although I got admission in M.T.B. College, but once a girl with a ‘numbered’ school tag, became now ‘cyclewali’ girl. Perhaps I was the only girl who used to go to college on bicycle. Other students were looking at me as if I were a wonder item. But I remembered my father’s advice’ – said Yasmin.

she said, ‘During college education I had to face not only shortage of finance but social opposition also. People said, that girl is meant to blow hearth for cooking, then why was she being educated? Even my grandmother was raising objection. facing opposition, I did work hard in my studies and in both B.A. and M.A. I received gold medals. I saw then the mouths of critics shut.’

Gold medallist Yasmin was selected as a teacher in Sharda Yatan High School of Surat and also got married with an embroidery-skilled artist, Muhammad Sajik Shaikh. Now her life was put in a routine and her career in teaching pupils got fixed. She passed her M.A. twice and also earned her B.Ed and M.Ed degrees. During the period, came a great turning point in her life.

‘I had visited a class one officer for getting certificates attested. The said officer asked me, how many persons know you? I replied, many in Surat. The officer asked, how will you feel if the whole of Gujarat and the whole of the country know you? I said, I like that very much. That officer advised me to appear in G.P.S.C. exam Now, this advice became the aim of my life’, said Yasmin.

Thereafter, Yasmin did not think of any other matter, except to pass G.P.S.C. ‘Many times it so happened, that when I sat at night to study, I got so engrossed that morning ‘Azan’ from Masjid was heard. During examination days, I was hardly sleeping for an hour or two. I have passed both preliminary and main examinations by strong concentration,’ saying Yasmin adding that ‘most difficult hour faced by me was at the interview preparation time.’

‘I was pregnant when I was preparing for the interview. The interview date given by G.P.S.C. was 4 March and the date of child birth given by my doctor was also 4 March! I wrote a letter to the commissioner and requested him to change the date and my appeal was granted. Thereafter, a daughter was born at our home. I named her Shifa. Shifa (which means healing in Arabic) brought pleasure in our life. when Shifa was only one month old, taking her alongwith me, I went to Ahmedabad to appearing the interview. By the grace of Almighty Allah, I passed successfully.’ Said Yasmin, “I have never bowed down to circumstances. I have learnt that having self-confidence, we work hard constantly, circumstances definitely do change. Where there is a will there is a way.” (Translated from Divya Bhaskar, Gujarati daily (Surat) by Y.R. Pathan (Kathor))

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2011 on page no. 2

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