The Kashmir valley is dominated by a patricentric society where women are expected to stay within the cultural threshold. But a determined woman Dr Ruveda Salam from Kupwara, Kashmir has become an inspiring figure for women all around to look onto.
She became the first woman to qualify from Kashmir in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination in 2013. But, this alone is not her only accomplishment, she has completed her MBBS from Government Medical College, Srinagar before clearing the UPSC. But her aspirations weren’t limited just to being an IPS so she reappeared in the UPSC again in 2015 and cleared it with even better rank paving the way to become an IRS officer and serve her motherland even better.
Being a daughter of an Indian information officer and Headmistress her parents had a broader vision which gave her immunity from the social dogma and she is especially thankful to her father for protecting her from break-bad of the society. The era of peak militancy accompanied by conservatism in Kashmir were few of the shackles that she broke free from to reach the stature.
Before joining in as a district commissioner at the Ministry of finance J&K, she was an IPS in Tamil Nadu Cadre where she served as the assistant superintendent of police, Chennai, ACP Chennai, Coimbatore and Kadalur in the northern Tamil Nadu. She received another prestigious honour when she was selected as one of the five young cadres from India to present a paper at the Youth-20 summit during the G-20 Nations meet in Sydney.
She had been a strong advocate for the higher education of girls with about more than 100 seminars for students to her credit. Whenever she went to schools in her proud Khakhi Uniform she would inspire children and make sure to share her Mobile number. Despite her busy schedules, she would connect with the children personally and even convince their parents to let their children pursue higher education by telling her own stories.
Taking time from her strenuous job, she still guides and encourages students to appear for the UPSC exams, through the internet.
Some people in various parts of India have a perception of her being anti-Indian due to her status as a Kashmiri girl that she thinks that it can be changed through her attitude. Many even think that Kashmiri girls cannot compete at the national level. Ruveda wants to change this perception by showing her mettle.
The heartening fact is that she admitted to being received with affection by most of the people throughout the country. We need more young and vibrant Indians from every corner and society of this country to achieve sustainable growth and worldwide success as a country.