Months-long college-shut down could not stop this Kashmiri girl from bagging fully-funded scholarship to UK

from militancy infested area bags full-funded scholarship to UK despite college shutdown and political turbulence.

Based in Budgam, an insurgency-affected district in Kashmir, Nida Qureshi, 24, did not allow her circumstances to affect her studies. She is the first in her family to fly abroad and study on a fully-funded scholarship to pursue Master‘s in Food Science (Food Quality Management and Quality Assurance) at , UK.

Nida was pursuing BTech in Food Science when her professor told her about the STEM scholarships by the . “Being from a small town, I lacked resources and proper information about scholarships. Studying abroad was a dream but I needed funding for it,” says Nida.

She was initially apprehensive about applying owing to her lack of information. Surprisingly, most scholars who bagged this scholarship, 53 in total, were from non-metros.

“We often had turbulence in the district which led to shut-down of colleges. In the seventh semester, our college was called off for five weeks and transportation was stopped too. Thus to remain at par with my peers I tried to take up as many internships as possible during the undergraduate course,” says Nida. “While most girls in my town were restricted to the vicinity, my father used to accompany me for internships to other states. I enrolled in six internships in the nearby water plants, biscuit plants, and milk plants,” she says.

Nida wants to set up a milk plant in Budgam after completion of her course. “We have 3-4 milk plants in Jammu and Kashmir, but they are far from our town. After completing my Master‘s course I wish to set-up a milk plant in the town to support the daily needs of people regardless of the weather or political climate,” says Nida.

Her main focus would be on generating quality products and hence has chosen Food Quality Management as her majors. “I shortlisted my college based on the course only. I think there is dire need to have quality and incessant supply for basic needs,” says Nida. But her choice of subject was not always trusted. “When I first thought of doing Food Science, many people did not understand my choice of subject and even questioned the career prospect of the same. But now when I have secured an admission abroad which is also has a chance of paid internship after completion of the course, everyone is happy,” she adds.

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