An encounter with an evergreen cleaner, Dr. G. N. Qasba
By Ajaz Rashid
Srinagar is the city where I was born. Apart from my colleagues, I have a good bunch of friends associated with different professions with whom I like to spend time. I have a lovely family. My mother was very dear to me and she has had a great role in my progress, and to bring me up with the right values and education. I have been my father’s favorite all through because he hardly had any problems with my upbringing and I never committed any wrong deed which could hurt my father. In fact I never gave him a reason to feel sad. My wife Ruhi is a highly gifted and educated person who has dedicated her life for the upbringing of my two beautiful daughters. She is the real home maker. I have two brothers, we live in the same compound, they are my extended family. My two daughters Sheema and Arshiya are my good friends. I like spending time with them, I like to discuss my experience and at times I get good ideas and solutions from them. In my professional life, I have been fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with some of the brilliant academicians and civil service officers like Prof.A.M Shah, Prof. Sikander farooq, Prof. R.N Gohil, Prof. P. Kachroo, Dr. K. Raghu (BARC, Bombay), Prof. Jagdish Shankar (BARC, Bombay), Prof. W. Mac Hardy (University of New Hampshire, USA), Prof. Minocha, Dr. Pachauri (Director General, TERI), S.D. Singh, Amit Kushari, Mohd. Iqbal Khanday, Khurshid Ganai, B B Vyas, Ashok Jaitley, C.Phunsog, Jalil Ahmad Khan and B.R Kundal.
Q: How do you describe yourself?
I am an ordinary person trying to make small changes and trying to deliver what is expected out of the responsibility I have been entrusted with. I would like to be humane and sensitive to the societal expectations.
Q: Memorable day in your childhood
The day when my father bought a Television set. I was a young cricket enthusiast back then, on that very day a cricket test match between India and Pakistan was on and telecasted, I was thrilled to see Imran Khan play!
Q: Any extra ordinary incident of school
The day I was made NCC commander back in 9th grade, I not only commanded by batchmates but also people senior to me. That’s something I remember.
Q: A person who has had a great impact on you and why?
My parents have impressed me the most. I have never seen my father quarrelling or arguing with anyone unnescessarily. He was a gentleman to the core. They have seen ups and downs of life. My father was from a very rich family, they even owned a car back then but in 47 they faced a downfall of life but they started all over again and succeeded
Q: Your best friend
Dr Mushtaq is my best friend
Q: How do you feel after reaching this position?
I feel quite satisfied and thankful after reaching to this position. It gives me nice feelings but sometimes it gets onto my nerves.
Q: Do you consider yourself a successful person?
Yes, quiet successful, all thanks to Almighty Allah.
Q: Do you have more enemies or more friends?
I don’t know. Better not to comment. You can understand. Some people talk against me without any rhyme or reason, I don’t blame them since it’s human nature, some amongst them II haven’t even met. But there is a majority of people who like and support me.
Q: What do you like about yourself?
I like that I am not complacent. I try to be practical, innovative and result oriented. I always try to put my energy into the right use.
Q: What is your favorite dressing?
I like casuals but the official position demands the formal dress code.
Q: Your favorite brand?
I’m not brand conscious. I often get my clothes stitched from my tailor.
Q: Your favorite gadget
Q: Your hobbies
I have been quite regular with gym. I love reading, gardening, photography, cycling and surfing the internet.
Q: If not in this job, what would you have been?
I would have liked to be a farmer, rearing animals, growing vegetables and flowers.
Q: Your favorite heroes?
I am impressed by Dr Verghese Kurien, Father of The Anand model of dairy cooperatives.
Q: What kind of TV programs you like
I like watching the Discovery Channel. I also like watching movies and all sorts of music programmes.
Q: Favorite movie star
Q: Favourite sports player
Q: Favourite singer
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Mohd Rafi
Q: What were your Childhood engagements?
Cricket, cricket and only cricket. Even if I had an exam the next day, I would keep my books with the shopkeeper to play cricket and then later I would study for the whole night.
Q: If you had a chance to have dinner with somebody, who would it be?
My family and friends.
Q: What are you most proud of?
Results of the efforts we put in and teamwork!
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
I should be remembered as a person who tried to make small changes with good intentions and results in focus for the societal good.
Q: What do you dislike most in others?
When people present excuses for failures and non performance. There are no excuses for being a non performer. Opportunities are always more than difficulties, provided you take up the right direction and with the right state of mind.
Q: Happiest day of your life
When my elder daughter Sheema was selected for a fellowship at Herbert Smith in England during the course of her studying in National Law University, jodhpur.
Q: Your saddest day
When I lost my father
Q: When did you find that life is not fair?
Many a times in life I felt that I did not get what I deserved
Q: What makes you happy and what irritates you?
When I put in efforts, the results make me happy. Sometimes the things I am trying to do and I am assigned a job and there are problems in accomplishing that job, I feel sad.
Q: How do you spend your free time?
I like to go for cycling during my free time. I like photography, surfing the internet and spending time with my family and friends.
Q: Anything that you miss?
I always miss the love and affection of my parents.
Q: Your future plans?
After my govt. service I would like to work for Srinagar city, counsel young people for entrepreneurial pursuits and try to contribute in whatever way I can.
Q: Do you like cooking?
No! I would love to, but I can’t.
Q: Whom you love most in your family?
Q: What is your view about politics?
It is an opportunity to help people.I believe it is the science of making possible things happen. It is something that really fascinates me and I am impressed by some of the best politicians affecting the lives of people.
Q: What has been your first person experience with death?
Way back in 90’s, I was on my way to Kawdara from Safakadal, driving a scooter. I was caught in a firing and I remember what a U- turn I took and moved with a lightning speed towards a small bi-lane, towards Tengpora, Eidgah.Many people unfortunately succumbed that day.
Q: Section of the society you want to work for?
I really love to work for Srinagar. I love the flavor of it’s streets, the affection of the people. I believe it has a great future and an excellent tourist destination, the buildings, the architecture, the food, the people, the handicrafts, the lakes, the rivers, the mountains, everything, you feel so protected, inspired and energetic.
Q: What do you think has been your greatest contribution so far?
In promoting solar photo voltaic in a big way. I was the part of the team in reviving SKIMS (1998-2001) and worked for the conversion of JVMC into SKIMS medical college followed by it’s recognition by the medical council of India. Revival of coorperatives and establishment of J&K milk producers coorperative at chasma shahi and satwari. I did some memorable work in JKTDC, Agro Industries and SDA. In SKICC I worked for the promotion of MICE tourism. As Commissioner SMC, me and my team have put in efforts in making Srinagar a cleaner and greener city where moving around should a pleasure both for the locals and the tourists.
Q: How important is money for you?
Money is important to some extend and what I earn is enough for a decent and a modest living.
• Director Science and Technology
• Registrar cooperatives
• Administrator in Sher-i-Kashmir Medical Institute
• Vice Chairman Srinagar Development Authority
• Managing Director Agro Industries
• Managing Director Jammu Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC)
• Director Sheri Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC)
• Presently Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC)