Shahida Pervin: Self-motivated and young researcher in Bangladesh

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Shahida Pervin is a young researcher, a strong, dynamic woman and, at the same time, the girl next door. The square peg that does not bother fitting in the round holes of our reality.

She was awarded the “Prime Minister Gold Medal” from Peoples Republic of Bangladesh and also many other scholarships including “University Grants Commission (UGC) Merit Scholarship”.

She has influential research contribution in the field of macro economy and development. Currently, she serves as a Research Associate of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).

She has also engaged in advocacy type social works. She won the battle fighting a lot of financial, social and cultural challenges. Here are some eye-catching parts from Miss. Shahida Pervin.

SUKONNA:  Tell us about you.

Shahida Pervin: My name is Shahida Pervin. I was born after 8 years of my immediate elder brother as a mistake of my parents in a very crisis time of our family.I studied in my village upto SSC (grade 10) with full support of scholarships and stipends, and then completed my HSC (grade 11-12) in Dhaka. Because of reputation as a good student, I received cordial support from my teachers, relatives and neighbors. Before getting into the university I lost one year because of various predicaments. Since university days,I have been fully dependent on me. However, I will remain grateful to my teachers. Without their continuous support, I would never been able to be here. I am also thankful to my relatives and neighbors for their support for me.

I won the battle fighting a lot of financial, social and cultural challenges. Living an isolated life in the capital city Dhaka, I have completed my undergraduate and master’s degree with top results in the department of economics as well as in the faculty of social science. As recognition of academic excellence, I was awarded the“Prime Minister Gold Medal” and “University Grants Commission (UGC) Merit Scholarship”. After the completion of my master’s I joined research organization. However, my desired work places are research organization or academia.

Shahida Pervin receiving Prime Minister Gold Medal and Certificate from Prime Minister and Education Minister, Peoples Republic of Bangladesh.

Disadvantaged people of society touch my heart since my very childhood. When I was a school girl, I used to teach poor student around me for free. When I was at university, I worked as volunteer for various purpose including teaching poor and junior, resisting violence against women, fighting against sexual harassment, raising fund for treatment of disadvantaged, donating blood etc. Now-a-days, from dawn-to-dust professional, I have little chance for volunteer work.But I have entire feelings for such work. So I don’t try to miss the opportunity when I find any opportunity to do so. Currently, as a professional I am engaged in advocacy type social work.

SUKONNA:  What is your mission?

Shahida Pervin: My mission is to work effectively to achieve equitable and peaceful society.Generally those who shape or implement policies are from well-established part of society. They do not have necessary knowledge about marginal part, cannot feel sufferings of underprivileged even if they want to bring betterment in marginal lives or they even do not want an equitable society. I feel I have to fill this gap up and my mission is to work effectively from top or bottom, whichever option I get. I welcome the disadvantaged people to favor me by giving the opportunity to serve them.

SUKONNA:  What is your area of expertise and why is it so important?

Shahida Pervin: I am a novice with a forever learning mind. As a student of economics and researcher, I feel I am a worker who works for a better economy where people can live prosperous, equitable and peaceful life.

SUKONNA:  How do you set goals and stay productive?

Shahida Pervin: I broadly set my goal and try to ensure best utilization of my present time. I do not make firm goal rather I set my order of preference. Order of preference offers me stress-free work with freedom.I feel that best utilization of present time makes future smooth and past glorious.These understanding helps me stay productive.

SUKONNA:  What makes you happy?

Shahida Pervin: Obviously, I become happy when I see the fruit of my work. However, peoples’ pleasant living, compassion for people and educated attitude make me real happy.

SUKONNA:  What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far with running your career?

Shahida Pervin: I have not faced any biggest challenge in my career but my whole life was a challenge until I reach a position to look for a career. I do not feel challenged regarding career because I think I have qualification to work and motivation to do any kind of work. My passion is not being a big careerist but a big contributor of society. Hence I would not mind if I don’t find any lucrative career but desired opportunity to be the biggest contributor.

SUKONNA:  How did you overcome these challenges?

Shahida Pervin: I have been very silent and bold in overcoming the challenges of my life. I never give up until my conscious mind allows me to give up. Nobody and no hardship can prevent my journey. My informed inner heart tells me when I should stop or follow the situation or cope with the situation. Experience taught me not to be upset in difficult time and not to allow my journey to consider the people’s appreciation or denunciation too much. I practice this now-a-days and it is an effective way to move forward, escaping the distractions. All these help me overcome the challenges.

SUKONNA:  How do you remain motivated through difficult times?

Shahida Pervin: Actually I do not get demotivated in difficult times for what I need to keep myself motivated. I have a very accepting mind and have no animosity toward the failure of human life. Failure can happen anytime even if someone put his or her best effort or in most favorable situation. Therefore, when I love something passionately and put my best effort for that I do not upset if I fail. What I expect is that I might get success but always there is chance of failure. I do not permit the success or failure to hamper the peace of my life.

SUKONNA:  Who inspires you?

Shahida Pervin: Personally I am not inspired by single person or single matter. I grab good things from countless good and bad people. Every good or bad occurrence or person I encountered or observed, I have learnt something good to apply for the betterment of society. I shape my pathway applying my knowledge and feelings, not by any sole inspiration.

Shahida Pervin attended training organized by UNESCAP in Bangkok, Thailand

SUKONNA:  What is your biggest achievement?

Shahida Pervin: I am yet to attain the biggest achievement in my life. I am here is the biggest achievement in my life so far. As a naïve, I can say receiving “Prime Minister Gold Medal” is the biggest achievement in my personal life. My mother always had some complain about attitude of her daughter, why her daughter is not like other girls around her, why she is not so girly who make herself pretty wearing ornament.After achieving “Prime Minister Gold Medal” and putting it in her neck I asked “Mom which necklace is more valuable: this Gold Medal or the necklace that the girls wore?”. This turned the situation emotional. This is the biggest achievement in the sense that I could make my family visibly happy and the people around me aware. To note here,my mother wanted me to get married in my childhood when I was doing very well in school. Anyway I am out of such challenge now and much more bold to stay stable in my way. In professional setting, I have conducted a study on “Estimating Women’s Contribution to the Economy: the Case of Bangladesh”. This is a big achievement considering its use and influence in the country.

SUKONNA:  What advice would you give to other women?

Shahida Pervin: I am not much bothered only about women. However, I feel women are much deprived, restricted and underrepresented. So they need the support to come out of this, but for changing wider society has to be responsible.My advice is for all. Please exercise compassion and commitment. Be hard worker, serious and bold for what good thing you want but do not destroy happiness of other people. Be committed to yourself, to parents, to people around, to society, to the nation, to the world and keep commitment at your best.Compassion and commitment make the homo sapience human.

Prof. Rehman Sobhan Wishes on International Women’s Day

SUKONNA:  What is your future plan?

Shahida Pervin: Being a researcher, I think advising good policy is first choice to influence the society from top. To accomplish this, I have a plan to go for higher studies. The next best choice is to become a social volunteer and influence the society from the bottom. Being a social contributor is my ultimate destination, path to reach at destination may vary.

SUKONNA: Before we finish taking your interview, we would like to ask you about your Favorite Quotes.

Shahida Pervin: They include: “Honesty is the best policy”. “We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us.”

SUKONNA:  Thanks a lot, Shahida Pervin for sharing your story with our readers!

Shahida Pervin: Thanks to SUKONNA! I wish SUKONNA good luck!

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