Born on 24th September, 1935, Prof. Sughra Hafeez was the daughter of a leading educationist, Begum Jalal-Ud-Din (Begum Jalal). She qualified MA in English with distinction, and also obtained a professional degree in Education (B.Ed). She topped the list in order of merit in the recruitment test conducted by the Public Service Commission, and started her academic career as lecturer in English, in January 1962.
Throughout her teaching career, Prof. Sughra Hafeez proved herself to be an inspiring and dedicated teacher. She was popular amongst student community and colleagues alike, and actively participated in all aspects of curriculum management.
During her 23 years of outstanding teaching service, she worked as professor of English in Government Women's College, M.A Road Srinagar (2 spells), Govt. Degree College Udhampur, Govt. Women's College, Nawakadal Srinagar. As a teacher she was quite impressive while transacting text in the classroom. Her students were highly motivated to attend her class as she explained a particular topic, adding value to the teaching-learning process.
Prof. Sughra Hafeez was elevated to the post of college Principal of Govt. College for Women's, Nawakadal Srinagar in the year 1985. During these years, the college registered an unprecedented progress in both scholastic and non-scholastic activities. The standard of education improved considerably, and students bagged numerous gold medals, trophies and awards in various fields.
Prof. Sughra Hafeez contributed significantly to the uplift of underprivileged and weaker sections among the students. She set an example of honesty, sincerity and dedication to duty. She actively contributed to life of institutions she worked for.
My Principal, Prof. Jiyalal Qotwal, at Degree College Baderwah, would speak highly of his good friend, Sheikh Hafeez Akhtar (IPS), who is the spouse of late Sughra Hafeez. He would always acclaim the virtues of his colleague, Prof. Sugra Hafeez, Prof. Qotwal and Prof. Sughra Hafeez had been colleagues at Udhampur college. When I was transferred from Baderwah College on 8th may 1990, I joined Nawakadal College on 10th may 1990 and submitted my joining report to the then principal Prof. Sugra Hafeez in her chamber. While allowing me to join the college, she smiled and asked me to work hard and be a dedicated teacher.
Prof. Sugra Hafeez was a well-disciplined academic leader. When the college was burnt down Sughra put in sustained effort to get the gutted college building repaired and renovated within a short period of time. She was an expert in governance skills. The admission process was completed at M.A.Road Srinagar. However the classwork and transaction was resumed in the college immediately after the building was made functional. When Kawdara, a locality in old city, was gutted down in a devastating fire, some fire victims got shelter in the college. Professor Sugra Hafeez used to visit them one by one in the morning. She assured them that they would not face any difficulty as regards basic utilities like electricity, water etc. and that they would soon return to their reconstructed homes. On the eve of Eid, she asked a lady colleague to spare a sheep for the guests staying in the college and the colleague gladly obliged with the request. When some students requested her to grant relaxation in depositing admission fee as they were not able pay it, because the economy was paralyzed, she took a quick decision and decided that all the students must be admitted in the college despite them not being in a position to deposit admission fee. Thus, no student was left out and deprived of admission. She, later on, took up the issue with administrative department for ratification of her action. She enjoyed full support of commissioner secretary, Sushma Chowdhary. Those days, higher ups sitting in the four walls of Civil Secretariat, were keenly aware of the difficulties the college principals were confronted while working on the field.
After serving as principal for a period of 10 years, she retired from active service from Govt. College for Women M. A Road, Srinagar, on 30th September, 1993. During her post-superannuation life, she was actively engaged in societal development and women's emancipation by being member /convener of different organizations.
Prof. Sugra Hafeez was gentle, generous, affectionate and an able academic leader. I got very less time to work under her leadership as she was transferred on 9th January, 1991, from Nawakadal to M.A. Road College. In recognition of her meritorious service to Higher Education, especially women education in J&K, the government was pleased to award her a gold medal. The academic historian must prepare a comprehensive biographical note on her life and contributions to the Higher Education Department. She left for her heavenly abode on 10thZilhaj, 1440 (Hijra) i.e 12th August 2019.
(This short biographical note is based on the inputs obtained from those who knew her, and worked with her.)