Schwarzman scholar lights a candle of hope for Kashmiri youth

Times Headline Bureu

New Delhi: The first Schwarzman scholar from Kashmir, Parsa Mufti, is hopeful of Kashmiri youth getting out of the state of being disgruntled and availing all the opportunities that come their way. According to Mufti, a number of Kashmiri youth, especially women, are literate and possess higher education degrees to prove their mettle to the world. “In Kashmir, most youngsters hanker after government jobs. It’s a trend here. It will soon change and youth will pursue careers in a number of avenues available for them,” Mufti told the Times Headline.

Schwarzman Scholars is the first scholarship created to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st century. Apply for a one-year, fully funded master’s program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, designed to build a global community of future leaders who will serve to deepen understanding between China and the rest of the world.

Hailing from Bijebahara in South Kashmir, Mufti is among five Indians chosen for the coveted scholarship. She was selected from among 151 scholars of 106 world universities from 33 countries.

She has opted for Global Affairs as her subject for masters. She will also have to go through mandarin classes as part of her curriculum.

Obtaining the Schwarzman scholarship is considered to be a Herculean task as the process of selection is quite rigorous. First, the candidate has to write some essays, make videos, prepare a fully detailed curriculum vitae, find recommendations of a few prominent people and then face a series of questions from the scholarship foundation. The short-listed candidates appear for an interview before the eight-member panel.

Mufti is the daughter of forest officer Sajjad Mufti and her early education was done in Jammu. She later joined Amity University Noida to pursue Law. Recently, she has been working with Samruddha Bharat Foundation, a non-government outfit. She has expertise in political strategy and human rights issues.

Mufti is elated that the Schwarzman scholarship will provide her an international platform and that it’ll be thrilling to interact with world leaders. “I worked hard for around six months to get this scholarship and I will ensure that my hard labour and determination will not go fruitless. I will strive to achieve the target of being part of any initiative that will bring positive change in the world,” she said.

She is hopeful that the scholarship granted to a young Kashmiri girl would motivate youth of the country, especially those in the Valley.

“I am very sure that it will have a positive impact on the Kashmiri youth and they will emerge as the voice of the people soon. There is a Kashmir that is beyond conflict. There nurtures hopes. You know that Kashmiris are more literate than most other Indian states. Families in Kashmir strongly prod their children to study. In fact, a number of Kashmiri youth are equipped with professional and higher education degrees. They aspire to invest their potential properly. I hope they find opportunities soon,” Mufti told the Times Headline.

On the current situation prevailing in the Valley after the revocation of Article 370, Mufti says that today’s youth in Kashmir are feeling disgruntled, disempowered democratically and desperate to find jobs. “There is hardly any substantial private investment in the state that may help generate employment. This has to be addressed urgently,” she said.

Mufti says that the youth in the Valley are completely disenchanted by the current crop of state politicians. “They look at them with a high degree of cynicism. Politicians have lost their credibility among the youth. Now, youth don’t seem to be ready to be coolies of dynasty-based politics. They want their issues to be addressed properly. They want social security. They want better health facilities. They want to come out of a morass of illogical demands,” Mufti told the Times Headline.

Mufti adds that the youth of Kashmir, especially women, want to make use of all tools of opportunities available to them. “The arrival of recognised scholarships like Schwarzman will bring a candle of hope at their doorstep,” Mufti said.

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