Ifrah Khan, IIT-JEE 3rd rank holder, scales heights in hijab


The Indian Olympiad School also has a mosque and it imparts religious education (ethical education) side-by-side mainstream education…reports Asian Lite News.

Ifrah Khan, a hijabi student from Nagpur, has secured 3rd All India Rank in IIT-JEE main entrance examination 2021. She is 2nd rank holder in the state of Maharashtra and the first topper of Vidarbha region. She credits her success to disciplined study, hard work, punctuality and focuses on the target. She is also grateful to her parents and elder brothers who constantly motivated and guided her. She says that her parents were in tears when they saw her result.

Ifrah has studied at Indian Olympiad School, Bhelgaon, Kamptee Road. Ifrah’s father Sohail Khan and mother Nagma Khan both are directors of the Indian Olympiad School.

Talking about her first infatuation with the IIT, Ifrah says that her elder brother used to study at IIT Kharagpur. Once, she went to meet him. The atmosphere at the prestigious institution cast a magic spell on her. She was so overwhelmed with the influence that she decided to study there one day.

She shares a success mantra: “We should study daily, even if it is for some time. It should develop as a habit.”

Ifrah says that she had started preparing for IIT when she was in Class 6 and by the time she was in Class 10, she had made her study more rigorous. “I have noticed that most students slow down in the last phase of Class 10. Actually, this is the time when they had to gather pace and move towards their goal of passing the entrance of their subject of choice. This time is the most pivotal period. It has to be utilised the most,” she says.

Besides studying, Ifrah emphasises the importance of learning sports and participating in other extra-curricular activities. Her favourite games are Basketball and Volleyball. She had also won the gold medal in the Volleyball competition in her school. Interestingly, Ifrah wears a hijab and even participates in games in such attire. She has no problem being tagged as “hijabi girl”. “Hijab is not a setback for Muslim girls or any other girl. Hijab or burqa are not symbols of backwardness. A hijabi girl can walk ahead in the modern world very comfortably,” she says. In this regard, her advice to the Muslim girls is: “Never feel disheartened just because you practice your culture in open. Only focus on your hard work, honesty and discipline. Success is waiting for you.”

Ifrah’s success especially breaks the myth about girls that they are made for subjects like Home Science and that they have to prepare themselves for family life. “My family was different. Though such discriminations do exist, yet girls are now marching past all types of stereotypes. They are in fact taking leading positions in different walks of life,” she says.

Ifrah’s success has delighted her parents the most. Both her parents have been teachers. Her father Sohail Khan says that he has been teaching for 25 years. “I have toured cities like Delhi, Kota and Hyderabad to observe the working of quality schools there. After studying the pattern of their administration, I opened the Indian Olympiad School in Nagpur. It is laced with all modern facilities. Students in our schools are encouraged to choose their subject of choice and accordingly, they are groomed for competitive examinations,” says Khan. His wife, Mrs Nagma Khan, helps him run the schools and also teaches Science subjects.

Before Ifrah, Sohail’s two elder sons also studied at IIT. One son, Uzair Khan, studied at IIT Kharagpur and Umer Khan was at IIT Roorkee. Uzair Khan was selected by an American Multinational Company, but he preferred to stay with his parents and teach in their school. His brother Umer followed his suit and quit his job to teach in his parents’ school. Both the brothers have tried to introduce new educational techniques at their schools to make education more student-friendly.

The Indian Olympiad School also has a mosque and it imparts religious education (ethical education) side-by-side mainstream education.

Sohail Khan believes that Ifrah’s success will be a trendsetter and help eradicate segregation of male and female children when it comes to education. “Girls make home heaven. We have to understand that,” says Khan.

Ifrah too says that she has read the Quran and its first message ‘Iqra’ which means to read or study. “Thus, Islam puts special emphasis on education,” she says.

Sharing delight of her daughter’s success, Sohail Khan says that Ifrah means bringing “joy and delight”. “Today, she has not only brought joy and delight to our family, but she has also brought laurels to Vidarbha and Maharashtra. I hope she will one day delight the whole of India,” says Khan.

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