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Kashmiri students flock to Kota to pursue their dream
July 24, 2016 | 6:07 PM
by PTI
A group of Kashmiri students, in Kota on Sunday. For them the dream does not stop just at cracking the competitive exams but also using education as a weapon to fight militancy and terrorism. Photo - PTI
 
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Kota (Rajasthan): Coming from the Indian-administered Kashmir Valley where education process is often held hostage to strikes and disruptions, regular classes are a novelty for close to 1,000 students of the state pursuing the dream of cracking medical and engineering exams in this coaching hub.



For them the dream does not stop just at cracking the competitive exams but also using education as a weapon to fight militancy and terrorism.

The coaching hub, which attracts students from far and near, has seen a sizeable number of students from Kashmir Valley making a beeline to its institutes.

When Tabish Mushtak arrived in Kota from Indian-administered Kashmir to chase her dream of becoming a doctor, she realised how safe it was as compared to the valley.


"The reasons are amply clear now. The place tends to the academic dreams of students and is safe as compared to the Valley that reels under the threat of militancy," she said.

"Classes are regular here. But in the Valley, almost everyday, just before taking the road to the school, we would receive a message informing us about the tense situation," Mushtak, who is enrolled in a coaching centre, said.

"Landmines were planted in my school when I was in the seventh standard, and the building was evacuated," she recalled and added, "We live free here, without any fear".

"I and my friends here want to become doctors. Education is the weapon with which we can fight militancy and terrorism," Mushtak said.

Shireen Fatima, a resident of Sopore, said regular classes are a boon for them.

"Here, we know that classes will run on a regular basis and our studies will not be affected. We do not spot gun-carrying soldiers or policemen here to add to our fears."

While one of the prominet coaching insitute stated that they have close to 700 students from Jammu and Kashmir attending their classes, others said they were providing guidance to around 50 students.

Adeep Kour, a NEET aspirant from Jammu and Kashmir, recalled that a bomb had exploded in her school when she was in the third standard.

Thereafter, the school had remained shut for many days.

"Here we are certain about regularity of classes and studies do not get affected, unlike in the Valley, where uncertainties loom," she said.

Violence and strikes in the Kashmir Valley have led to disruptions in the academic calendar, with schools and colleges shutting down many times as a precautionary measure.

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