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Against Odds, Madrasa Teacher Clears UPSC Exam in Sixth Attempt

Shahid Thiruvallur. (News18.com)

Shahid Thiruvallur. (News18.com)

28-year-old Shahid Thiruvallur had been trying to pass UPSC exams for many years now and finally succeeded in his sixth attempt. He has ranked 693.

Kozhikode: Shahid Thiruvallur moved to a madrasa after basic schooling at the age of 10 due to financial difficulties at home. He completed school in the madrasa and pursued higher education through distance courses and also worked as a teacher at the madrasa to financially support himself. Today, 18 years later, Shahid has finally cleared the civil services examination and ranked 693.

This was his sixth attempt to clear the coveted Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations.

Twenty eight-year-old Shahid, who had been working as a Madrasa teacher in Kannur, finished his 12-year-long education at Qazi Kunhi Hasan Musliyar Islamic Academy at Kappad in Kozhikode district, where he was honoured with the Maulavi title 'Hasani'. He graduated from the institute in 2010.

A graduate in English literature from the University of Calicut's School of Distance Education, Shahid often worked on Arabic and English translations to make his living.

“During my student life, I used to write articles for small Malayalam magazines too so that I can get some money to keep me going” says who took Malayalam as optional subject for civil services.

“After my graduation in 2010, I was working as a madrassa teacher in Kannur for a meagre salary” Shahid told News18, adding that he later quit the job to pursue his career as a journalist and joined Chandrika daily, a mouthpiece of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), where he has been working as a sub-editor for almost two years.

“It is during my tenure with Chandrika that I received deeper knowledge about news in general and developed an improved worldview which prompted me to prepare UPSC exams intensively,” Shahid said, adding that the civil services were always on his mind.

Originally from a small town called Thiruvallur near Vadaka in the Kozhikode district, Shahid was studying at the Centre for Coaching and Career Planning at Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi. He was also enrolled in the Center for Civil Services Coaching in Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad, where he was supported financially by Muslim Students Federation, the student body of IUML.

Shahid, who does not want to forget his roots, thanked his parents, teachers and friends, who stood by him during hard times, for his success.