They come here to fulfil their dreams

Last Updated 07 March 2019, 10:35 IST

Winds of change are slowly blowing and more and more students from Jammu Kash­mir are coming to Kota to pur­sue their dreams in engine­ering or medical streams.

Over 1,500 students have stepped out of their comfort and scenic beauty of the Valley to sweat it out in the coaching hub of Kota. Majority of them are girls, mostly from the remote areas.

The changing trend has surprised even the coaching institutes and they think it is an indication of rising aspiration among students. “Now, there are over 1,500 students from Jam­m­u and Kashmir in various coaching institutes in Kota.

Most of them are girls in combined pre-me­di­cal test (CPMT) course as they aspire to become doctors,” said Pramod Maheshwari, Director, Career Point Coaching Institute in Kota.

Though Kota emerged as a coaching hub in early 1990s, more students from J&K have started coming only in last four years. “We have never faced any problem and locals also support them. Initially, they preferred to use hostel facility provided by the coaching institutes. Now, you can find them living in various colonies of the city,” said Maheshwari.

Kota’s economy revolves around  students enrolled in various coaching institutes. With the numbers growing, many institutes have started awareness programmes for the students. Some are working on business development model to attract more
students from J&K and North East.

“Today, students are more conscious of their career and so are their parents. To further cash in on growing response from the Valley, we have started awareness programmes by organising seminars in prominent schools, giving adver­tisements and
success stories in local media. Many more activities are on the cards this year,” said Kirti Singh Songara, General Manager, Opera­tions, Resonance.

According to a source, most of the institutes have hired a special team of professionals to visit the places in J&K and eastern India to motivate the stud­ents and parents.

As a part of the progra­mme, a successful candidate is felicitated at his or her native place. It ends up in becoming the biggest motivation factor among the students and their parents.

Expanding the sphere of their activities, a couple of institutes have now come up with special residential facilities for parents too. Integrated learning programmes and schools have been introduced where students can pursue their schooling along with preparation of competitive examinations.

“We run a special programme Gurukul, where 10 +2 education is imparted along with the coaching for competitive examinations. Interestingly, five Kashmiri students are pursing the programme living with their parents on the campus,” said a senior management person in Career Point.
“We take special care for students from J&K so that they do not feel homesick, which hampers their studies. Students cannot go to their hometowns for festivals as all institutes celebrate them,” said an institute owner in Kota.

“It’s very tough to adjust with the weather and local food. But, we are now accustomed to it. We are here to study and clear the examinations. But I am confident that my hard work and sacrifice will finally pay off,” said Humera from Anantnag, who is preparing for medical examination. “We are seeing the life outside Kashmir. It’s beautiful. We never feel lonelye and we have a lot of friends here and people too are friendly,” she added.

Ruksana Ali Masur from Gulmarg said: “I first heard about Kota when I was in class 10. I wanted to become a doctor and I was not sure that my parents will send me to Kota. Soon one of our family friends cracked CPMT after taking coaching in Kota. It helped me a lot to convince my parents,” said Ruksana.

“My father is also a doctor. So, he supported me against the wish of family. I have to live up to his expectations,” she added.

Kashmiri girls attend classes in their traditional attire, specially the hijab on their head. “Initially, I used to feel very awkward. Now, I am very comfortable with in the classroom. It is a part of our tradition so we wear it everywhere,” said Zehra Islam, who is also medical aspirant from Udhampur district.

When asked why most of the girls from Kashmir are interested in pursuing medical stream, she said: “ It is a respected profession. I want to serve the people of my state. Besides, it’s a profession most parents are comfortable with, taking into account the cultural foundations.’’

To help Muslim students to offer prayers five times a day, institutes modify their timings. “Nothing has changed for us in Kota. Here, we offer namaz five times a day. Institutes conduct classes to ensure that they do not clash with prayers,” said Mazid Ali, a student from Srinagar who is preparing for IIT.

The city, which was once known as the crime capital of Rajasthan, is setting high standards of education in India. The credit equally goes to the city police who have gone extra mile to provide foolproof security to students coming to Kota.

Besides maintaining a full data base of students, parents, hostels owners, domestic helps and vehicles, police constables move around in plainclothes in and around
institutes and hostels to prevent any incidents. Complaint boxes have been put up in and around coaching centres and hostels for students.

“We have a multi-tier security system for students of coaching institutes. First ,we furnish all details of private hostels, coaching institutes, paying guest owners and those who rent out their houses on individual basis.

They furnish all details about students, their parents, about vehicles, domestic helps, cook and others,” said Manish Agarwal, Additional SP Kota. It’s a very intense mechanism because every year new students keep arriving, he added.

Also, 24x7 special help lines are in operation and surprise checks are conducted by senior officials in the town. “Besides, we have a strong intelligence and ATS network, which work continuously,” said Agarwal.

(Published 21 June 2014, 17:34 IST)

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