There is nothing that can compensate merit, confidence and honesty of a student particularly when it comes to Kashmiri youth who have got a lot of talent. All they need is a proper guidance and exposure. Sajad Hameed Ahanger from Kanispora of District Baramulla talks about his journey to his Prolific Career, motivating factors, suggestions, success, achievements, interests, thoughts for the youth, and much more in an an exclusive interview with Mansoor Parry. He is presently working as a Research Associate at Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, India.
Sajad Hameed, First let us walk through your educational background.
I did my schooling from lesser known Govt. Higher Secondary school, Baramulla. Then, I went to Govt. Degree College Baramulla to do my Bachelor’s degree in Science. For my postgraduate studies in Microbiology, I moved out of valley to Bhopal. I was enrolled at National Centre for Cell Science, Pune. I also worked at Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad and Institute for Genetics, Justus-Liebig University, Germany towards my PhD.
What prompted you to choose Research as your career and which Field you were Researching in ?
A six months research stint during my MSc at Centre for Cellular & Molecular Biology, Hyderabad inspired me to pursue research subsequently.
What about the Inspirations from the field and how much challenging is research?
If we look around us we can easily notice how much research has changed our life be it in Physics, Chemistry or Medicine. Research in biology is challenging (may be as much as it is in other fields) but then only challenging things bring out the best in you. If you are strongly interested and motivated, I assure you it is exciting and much fun.
How did your parents, family and friends contribute to your success?
None of this would have been possible without the unflagging love and support of my family, relatives and friends. Their tireless patience has been a great source of strength. No words are adequate to express their love and concern.
There must be Episodes, from your Childhood Memories, Which are Vivid even now?
One of the things that I vividly remember from my past is when I passed my 10th class board exams. It was Ramadan, early morning when a classmate of mine came to my home and broke the news of the results. I found that luckily I have managed to pass the exam, least bothered about that I had scored miserably low (so much so that I had to hide my scorecard and lie about my score). Nevertheless, that moments still remains one my happiest moments till date and after that I have never looked back.
What suggestions would you like to give to the students? How much does it take to do research?
The most important thing would be to do what you really like. Don’t do something because somebody told you to do that. It is very important that you extract enjoyment in what you do. Strong interest, motivation and patience are key to do research.
At times a Researcher finds himself Struggling with his Research, what is it that makes you to keep pursuing your dream?
Absolutely, at times, in fact many times, you feel frustrated because things are not moving. But then your passion is what keeps you to driving forward.
What significance does this achievement hold for you? Whom do you give credit for you ultimate success?
I think I still have to go long way in achieving my goals. My ultimate goal is to do something for the people of my land, my valley, my Kashmir. If I have learnt something and do not transfer that to my future generations, then that success to me is useless.
What are Your Interests? What is your message for the youth of Jammu and Kashmir?
The interest of doing Science for the Betterment of Human Health. Special Interest in traveling and visiting historical places. Long term goal is to educate and counsel budding students of the valley.
Do something that you think can do good to humankind in years to come.
If you are doing something that doesn’t fetch you enjoyment and excitement. Think what you should be doing instead!