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Varun Baranwal : From Cycle repairer to an IAS Officer.

A little boy from the small town of Boisar in Palghar district of Maharashtra, always dreamt of becoming a doctor. His father used to ran a cycle repair shop to earn living for his family. But in March 2006, just four days after Varun’s 10 Board exams, his father had a heart attack and passed away. So Varun decided to stop his own education and carrying on his father’s business. He started working in the shop and resigned himself to his fate. But then, the results for Class 10 were declared. Varun had got the second highest marks in his town.

At this point, his mother intervened. “It was decided that my mother would run the shop and I would study. So I got a form from the nearest college but the admission fees was Rs. 10,000, which we did not have. So I dropped the plan again,” he says. A few days later, when Varun was working in his shop, Dr. Kampli, who had treated his father before he passed away, stopped by and asked Varun about his future plans. Varun told him that he had quit his studies due to financial constraints.

In an instant, says Varun, Dr. Kampli pulled out Rs. 10,000 from his pocket and asked Varun to go get his college admission done. The next two years were really difficult for Varun. Although he now had the opportunity to follow his dreams, the minimal fees of for his college was also difficult for his family to afford.So, He would wake up early, attend college, take tuitions to earn some money in the afternoons, and help his mother at night with the accounts at the shop. After that he would study till he was exhausted and fall off to sleep. However, it was still a struggle to pay the college fees every month. When his teachers learnt of this, they pooled in money and paid the fees for him.

After Class 12, it was time for Varun to follow his passion and enroll in medical college. But since this too was expensive, he decided to prepare for engineering instead. The family got together all it had saved, sold the piece of ancestral land it possessed and paid the fees for Varun’s first year of engineering. As always, Varun topped in the first semester at MIT College, Pune. Now, he could apply for a scholarship. However, the application and approval process was so complicated that it took almost his entire second year to get through it.

But Varun’s life had taken a different turn. Now, he did not want to solve just his family’s problems by doing a private job but wanted to solve bigger problems faced by society by joining the administration. In June 2012, Varun graduated from engineering college. He had six months to join Deloitte and he decided to make use of those six months to prepare for the UPSC exams.Varun Baranwal finally secured an All India rank of 32 in the 2014 UPSC exams, after an eight-year-long struggle to get an education that many of us take for granted.


Ansar Ahmad Shaikh (21 yrs old)- Auto Driver’s Son

Ansar Ahmad Shaikh has become the youngest candidate to crack the UPSC Civil Services exam at the age of 21 with an all India rank of 361 in his very first attempt in 2015. Ansar sheikh, the son of an auto-rickshaw driver and brother of a mechanic, hails from a marginalised family from the Jalna village of Maharashtra. Despite his vulnerable economic conditions, Ansar excelled in studies from the very start and landed in the prestigious college course of B. A in Political Science, Pune. Driven by a strong will, he used to work 12 hours a day straight for three consecutive years while preparing for his UPSC exam. He has defied all odds, including religious discrimination, to crack the most prestigious competitive UPSC examination of India. Coming from a poor conservative Muslim family, his achievement is really worth applauding. He has become a source of inspiration for many poor aspirants trying hard to make a mark in this world of cut-throat competition. According to this budding civil servant, coming from a backward underdeveloped region and belonging to a minority community has acted more as an insight for him to study the horizontal differences that exist in the society. Moreover, his first-hand tryst with social ostracisation has also provided him with vivid solutions to such deep-rooted problems as an administrator.


Kuldeep Dwivedi (27 yrs old) IPS- Security Guard’s Son

Kuldeep Dwivedi has managed to secure an all India rank 242 in the civil service exam conducted by UPSC in 2015. Kuldeep Dwivedi, son of a security Guard at Lucknow University has proved that no obstacle is too great to stop your will to succeed. His father Surya Kant Dwivedi works at the University of Lucknow as a security guard and struggles to make end meets for his family of five. But Surya Kant’s feeble economic conditions didn’t stop him from encouraging his son to pursue a career in the most beloved job in the Indian society. He supported his son’s ambition morally as well as economically as much as he could. Even after the results were declared, it was difficult for the whole family to believe that their youngest son has achieved such a great milestone in life. It took time for Kuldeep Dwivedi to explain to his family what it meant to rank in the Civil Services Examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). He is youngest of three brothers and a sister, wanted to become a Civil Servant since he was a child. Kuldeep Dwivedi graduated in 2009 from Allahabad University and completed his post graduation in 2011. He has proved that hard work is not dependent on circumstances and keeping faith in the most important ability. His success is a shining example of determination and single-minded focus.


Sweta Agarwal - Grocer’s Daughter

This is another heartwarming story of a daughter of a grocer from Bhadreshwar. Sweta Agarwal finally realised her dream of becoming an IAS officer by securing the 19th rank in the UPSC examination in 2015. Her story of struggle is filled with overcoming multiple odds ranging from gaining basic education facilities to becoming one of the top 3 women toppers of UPSC exam 2015. She explains how despite battling poverty, her parents gave her best of education possible. Sweta is extremely proud of her parents and praises the way they taught her to always serve society. Sweta Agarwal completed her schooling from St Joseph’s Convent Bandel School. After completing her schooling Sweta graduated in Economics from St Xavier’s College Kolkata. Sweta Agarwal had cracked the UPSC exams twice before but kept her sights on becoming an IAS officer. Sweta feels proud about joining the Bengal cadre and also thinks that most youngsters are staying away from Civil Services barely thinking that they would be made to serve under political bosses instead of the public. It is often stated that for a girl from a moderate family, it’s very difficult for parents to support their children’s ambitious dreams. But crossing all boundaries of gender bias, Sweta Agarwal and her family is an example of unconditional hard work and perseverance.


Nirish Rajput – Tailor’s Son

Nirish Rajput, son of Virendra Rajput (a tailor) was a poor youngster from the Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh, who overcame massive odds to emerge successful in the Civil Service examination. He proved that poverty is not an impediment to success. He failed in the previous three attempts at the civil services, but never lost heart. The fourth time, he passed with a rank of 370. He lived in a small house in village Mau in Gohad tehsil of the district and worked odd jobs, even as a newspaper distributor, just to realise his dream of becoming a civil servant. He did not know how to become an IAS officer, but he knew clearing the country’s top examination can change his fortune. He was confident that poverty cannot be a hurdle for anyone if one has the determination and will to work hard. He studied in a government school and a modest college in Gwalior. His two elder brothers, who are contractual teachers, started investing most of their savings and energy to make Nirish’s dream come true. He has also proved the impression that only students from public schools alone can do well in these exams is a myth.


Hrudaya Kumar – Farmer's Son

Hrudaya Kumar, a son of a below poverty line farmer from Angulai, a remote village in Kendrapara district of Odisha has secured 1079th rank in the coveted civil service examination 2014. Despite having a underprivileged background, he never looked back and achieved his desired goal. His family lives in a house which they got from Indira Awas Yojana, a social welfare flagship programme of the government. Hrudaya Kumar has completed his primary and secondary education from government-run-primary and high school respectively. He has passed class 12th with second division marks, but he was good at cricket and had the ambition to pursue a career in the same. He also represented his home district team in the Kalahandi Cup inter-district cricket tournament. But the destiny was already written for him and the uncertainties associated with pursuing sports career forced him to choose academics. After completion of secondary education, he enrolled in a five-year integrated MCA course at Utkal University. He optimally utilised the environment he got for studies and tried his luck in civil services exam but he failed to secure his name in the merit in his first two attempts.


Manoj Kumar Roy -From EGG vendor to civil servant

He cleared UPSC Civil service examination in his 4th attempt and now serves an Indian Ordnance Factory Service (IOFS) officer. He spends his weekends grooming poor students of his state to help them crack the UPSC exam. He sold eggs, worked as a vegetable vendor and even mopped the floors of an office to earn a living during his struggling days in Delhi.


K Jayaganesh – From Waiter to IAS

K Jayaganesh failed in the civil service examination six times but never lost heart. But in his last chance, he passed with a rank of 156 and got selected for the Indian Administrative Service. Jayaganesh hailed from a very poor background in a village in Tamil Nadu, and though he studied to be an engineer, he worked at odd jobs, even as a waiter.


GOVIND JAISWAL – Rickshaw puller’s Son

His father toiled hard, sold off his only piece of land so that Govind could get an education. Complementing his father’s struggle and dream, Govind ranked 48th in the Civil Service Examination, 2006.


This is not finished yet, there is much much more. You could be one of them. Just believe in yourself and be original. Don't ever fake yourself. Pursue your dreams with courage and most importantly with a very strong cause...


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