Dr Ruveda Salam is the first woman Muslim IPS officer from Jammu and Kashmir. She hails from Farkin, a remote village in Kupwara.
Dr Salam completed her MBBS from the Government Medical College in Srinagar. After that, she successfully cracked the Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) in the year 2009.
According to Dr Salam, being a Kashmiri girl and to venture outside your state was not an easy task.
She made history when she became the first woman from the Kashmir valley to qualify in the Union Public Service Commission examination in 2013.
She has passed the UPSC exam again this year. With an improved rank, she has fulfilled her dream of becoming an IAS officer.
What started out as a dream that her father and she collectively shared, soon became reality through Salam’s dedication, hard work and steely perseverance. Dr. Salam shares her story of how dreams become a reality when your heart and mind is in the right place.
“When I was growing up in Kashmir, my father often used to say that I should become an IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer. That’s when I first thought of becoming one. It inspired me and I decided to go ahead and aim for it.”
She was allotted the police services and joined the police academy in Hyderabad for training . However, after completion of her training, the only Muslim woman police officer was put in the Tamil Nadu cadre.
Ruveda says that the training period was very difficult. Physically, it was very much hard. She was posted as an ACP of Police in Chennai.
She realized that serving humanity is the most satisfying thing and it hardly matters whether it is in Kashmir or Tamil Nadu.
Salam has a dream of motivating a large number of girls from Kashmir to achieve the new heights of success in different fields.
To inspire the youth, particularly the girls, she has also given motivational speeches. She encourages girls to appear for civil services exams and strive for a balance in their lives.
“When girls see me in uniform they look at me with admiration.”
She has also conducted a workshop for girls in Hyderabad. The participants who attended that workshop said they wanted to join the IPS, but were doubtful about the consent of their parents.
She also wants to do social work and help the unprivileged sections of the society.
Sharing her experiences, Salam believes of enjoying life which consists both her family and career.
Taking about the intelligence of the youth in the state, she said that it is totally wrong to believe that Kashmiris cannot compete. In the past many people have qualified the prestigious exams of civil services and have proved their mettle, she said.
“As a Kashmiri girl it is more difficult as people think we don’t venture out. With the right attitude this can also be overcome,” she added.
After qualifying IAS this year, she has been posted assistant commissioner at Ministry of Finance, Government of India.