Irrespective of your political affiliations or complete lack of it, there's no denying that Kashmir has been through a lot, especially in the context of the socio-cultural and political landscape lately apart from the financial and physical hurdles.
But none of the odds tossed in their way stopped these two Kashmiri girls from excelling in Class X exams.
Meet Parveena Ayoub
Hailing from a humble background in Kurhama village of Ganderbal district, Parveena Ayoub till yesterday was defined by her hardships and struggles.
A student of the Government Higher Secondary School Kurhama, she secured 490 marks out of 500 and received a straight A1 grade. Her father Muhammad Ayoub is a labourer and struggles to meet the needs of the family of six. He along with his wife and five daughters lives in a single room tin-shed.
In an interview with several publications, she has said, she didn't have a choice but to study hard. After all, that's my last refuge to change our situation. She adds, "I also didn't have any option but to self-study. Both internet and private coaching are not something we can afford." To get some quiet study time, she'd sit up at night with her books when her family-members would be sleeping.
Now, she has only one request. "I request the administration and the government to support me. I want to be a doctor but I cannot because I don't have the financial resources to further continue studies." Her mother is beaming at her daughter's feat and gives full credit to Parveena.
Tabia Iqbal, truly very special and able
Hailing from Nowgam village of the Shangus area, Tabia Iqbal secured an impressive 90.4 per cent (352/500 marks). Today at the age of sixteen she has passed her Class X boards, conducted by the J&K Board of School Education, with flying colours. But life didn't always deal with the right cards.
Tabia was born with hearing and speech impairment. After being admitted to the school, suddenly at the age of five, she developed rheumatoid arthritis, which forced her to discontinue studies. Tabia needed a wheelchair to stand but her resolution has always stood firm. She wanted to continue with her studies and she did. Tabia would be home-schooled and then write examinations.
Her father Muhammad Iqbal admits that life has not been easy for her. "But she has never complained," like a proud father he can't stop talking about his daughter every time there is a congratulatory call made. Tabia, lives in South Kasmir's Anantnag district with her two elder sisters and parents. Tabia wants to continue her studies and today, she has given a lot of hope and strength to her parents and siblings. And the rest of the nation as well.