Ilma Afroz, from Village To Oxford An Inspiring Lady, says, “My mother taught me the value of hard work. My brother didn’t save money for my dowry. Instead, he spent it on my education. Ammi (mom) and bhaiyya (brother) made numerous sacrifices to educate me.”
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Ilma Afroz Family
Ilma Afroz, the daughter of a small farmer from Kundarki town in Moradabad district, Uttar Pradesh, was always destined for a life of public service.
Inducted into the prestigious Indian Police Service in August 2018, the 26-year-old left behind a life of comfort in New York, to assist with the collective realization of the Indian dream—one of progress, peace, and prosperity.
Her journey to the Indian Police Service, however, wasn’t without its fair share of challenges and obstacles.
She was only 14, when her father, a dedicated farmer who had helped her understand the delicate intricacies of nature, succumbed to cancer.
With a young daughter and 12-year-old son to take care of, her mother took up the mantle of raising the children.
Ilma Afroz Education and Career
After graduating, in her hometown, Ilma Afroz attended the famous St Stephen’s College in the national capital, Delhi and studied there philosophy. The three years she spent studying philosophy at St Stephen’s, were the best years of her life.
Ilma’s hard work and dedication secured her a scholarship to attend the world-renowned Oxford University.
Ilma Afroz in Oxford
Attending Wolf son College for her Master’s, Ilma Afroz had the opportunity to witness events at the hallowed Oxford Union debating hall. (There, students, faculty and intellectuals from around would discuss, debate and exchange ideas with people from around the world.)
The experience opened her mind to the world. Moreover, it enabled her to appreciate different worldviews.
Ilma Afroz in New York
After her time in the United Kingdom, she made her way to New York City, where she attended a voluntary service program in the Manhattan area. However, something was missing.
Inspired by Gandhi ji’s dream to ‘wipe every tear from every eye’, the feeling that the nation should reap the benefit of her education and experiences grew manifold. She wanted to do her bit in fulfilling Gandhi ji’s dream.
That’s when she realized applying for the civil services presented her with the ultimate opportunity to work for the betterment of people, and she returned home.
All India Rank 217
After clearing the examination in 2017 with an all India rank of 217, she was inducted into the Indian Police Service. Allocated the Himachal Pradesh cadre, she will soon undergo a 16-month training process.
The road ahead indeed looks rosy. However, she emphatically states that it wouldn’t have been possible without the sacrifices made by her mother and younger brother.
Even before Ilma has the opportunity to perform her duties on the ground, she is already fulfilling her goal of furthering the Indian dream.
Back home in Kundarki, she founded Hope, a grassroots community network promoting education for underprivileged children.
“I want to enable young students to fulfill their immense potential, excel in academics, and hopefully, one day, give back to the nation. I want all students to get an opportunity to shine, and lend a healing touch to those around us,” she says.
With Thanks “The better India”