Farmer’s daughter Ilma cracks Civil Services Exam
At 14, Ilma couldn’t bear the pain when she lost her father to cancer. Her father was a farmer and the family lived in Kundarki town in Moradabad district. With a daughter and 12-year-old son, Ilma’s mother made sure that her children would battle it out tough times only to realise their ambitions.
Knowing the circumstances at a very young age, Ilma knew what exactly what she wanted to do to help the family to get into the comfort zone. The determined Illma graduated from her school and then attended the prestigious St Stephen’s College, where she pursued philosophy.
“The three years I spent studying philosophy at St Stephen’s, were the best years of my life so far. Learning the subject in an environment where professors can closely engage with students helped me imbibe important lessons. We learnt so much outside the classroom as well. Learning philosophy encourages one to think on their own,” she said.
The UG course laid the foundation stone for her advancement to public service. Talking about her learnings, Ilma said, “I learnt to formulate an argument, write convincingly and listen patiently. In class, we would read, discuss and debate Gandhiji and weigh what impact would a particular decision have in facilitating change in the life of the last person (antodaya) in the darkest village.
The six schools of Indian Philosophy taught me to appreciate the diversity of thought and value systems. As the Kena Upanishad says, ‘knowledge is like Uma Himavati—bahushobhaniyam; the most illuminating of all.’”
After this, Ilma got a scholarship to attend Oxford University and at the Wolfson College where she completed her Master’s. From there she went to New York City where she marked her presence for the voluntary service programme in the Manhattan.
Speaking to The Better India, Ilma said, “Every single day when I returned to my room in downtown Manhattan, I would yearn for home. For Ammi, and her smile. I would look out from the window of my room at New York skyline and watch the matchbox-like yellow taxis swarming the streets—a ubiquitous image associated with the American dream. I asked myself will my Oxford education go towards running after a ‘foreign dream’?
Driven by Gandhiji’s dream to ‘wipe every tear from every eye’, the feeling that the nation should reap the benefit of my education and experiences grew manifold. I wanted to do my bit in fulfilling Gandhiji’s dream.”
From here on started her epic journey back home. She then applied for civil services examination and defied all the odds by clearing the examination in 2017 as she bagged 217th rank all India and inducted into the Indian Police Service. Under the Himachal Pradesh cadre, she will soon be trained for 16 months.
She gave credit to her mother and brother for her success, Ilma said, “My mother taught me the value of hard work. My brother didn’t save money for my dowry. Instead, he spent it on my education. Ammi and bhaiyya made numerous sacrifices to educate me.”
Ilma is extremely happy to come across the grassroots community network which is keen to promote education for underprivileged children in Kundarki. Ilma said “I want to enable young students to fulfil their immense potential, excel in academics, and hopefully, one day, give back to the nation. I want all students to get an opportunity to shine, and lend a healing touch to those around us.”
Son Of A Poor Farmer From A Backward Villages, Gets 3rd Rank In India’s Civil Services Exam
Gopala Krishna Ronanki is a poor farmer’s son from a remote village in Andhra Pradesh. But with his grit to defy all odds, he has got the third rank at all-India level, in the Union Public Service Commission’s civil services 2016 examination. 30-year-old Gopala Krishna Ronanki’s parents, Ronanki Appa Rao and Rukminamma do agricultural labour in the fields, and they didn’t use to have electricity at home or enough money to send their ward to a private school. The family lives in Parasamba village of Palasa block in Srikakulam district.
Somehow, he managed to get admission in a government school and did his 10+2 with Maths, Physics and Chemistry at the Government Junior College, Palasa. After that Ronanki did a two-year teachers’ training course at Dubacharla in West Godavari district and was selected as a government teacher in 2006. In his own words, “Getting a job was my priority as I had to earn my own livelihood.”
Ronanki has been working as a teacher in a primary school for the last 11 years. While teaching, Ronanki did his B. Sc. privately from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. However, He wasn’t content with this, as he always dreamt of becoming an IAS officer. Now when his dream has been fulfilled he is elated. A joyous Ronanki says, “I had been preparing for it for almost a decade. Finally, I could achieve my goal in my fourth attempt.”
In his journey of becoming an IAS officer, he had another hurdle to cross. As he had studied till 10+2 in the Telugu medium, Ronanki had also selected Telugu literature as his optional subject in the Mains Exam. But as they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way. He was allowed by the UPSC to appear for the personality test in Telugu, which was a great relief for him. In his own words, “With the help of the Telugu interpreter, I could face the interview boldly.”
Ronanki has clearly stated that he owes his success to his parents, who have done a lot of hard work and struggle to bring him up. He also said, that they didn’t knew anything about his dream and efforts. “We didn’t even have electricity at home till I completed my Intermediate. All that my parents knew was that I was a teacher. I broke the news today to them that I had been selected to the IAS and would soon become a collector” said Ronanki.
His achievement is being acknowledged in various quarters. Director of the Brain Tree India coaching institute in Hyderabad, Dr Gopalakrishna has praised Ronanki, saying that the third ranker was a brilliant candidate from the most backward area of Andhra Pradesh, who used to appear for mock interview sessions at his coaching centre and was very bright. It’s pleasant and inspirational, to see and hear about the success stories of people like Ronanki, is all what we can say.
Daughter of a farmer “Tapasya Parihar” clears UPSC exam
25-year-old Tapasya comes from an underdeveloped village of Narsinghpur has secured 23rd rank in the UPSC results. She hails from Jowa village which is about 10km from Narsinghpur (Madhya Pradesh). Her father is a farmer and mother is the Sarpanch of the village.
She did her schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya Narsinghpur. Thereafter, she completed her graduation in Law from ILS Law College, Pune. After completing the law, she started preparing for UPSC. Later on, she went to Delhi to prepare for the exam and she joined a coaching class there, but her experience was not up to the mark with the coaching class. She subsequently started self-preparation.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took to Twitter to praise the “farmer’s daughter from Narsinghpur”. “Madhya Pradesh is proud of her daughter. Go ahead and achieve more success. My blessings are with you,” he tweeted.
Being a daughter of a farmer, she had gone through a lot of struggles, but she never gave up and accepted all challenges in a positive manner. Despite all the difficulties and hardships she had faced, Tapasya touched the pinnacle of success.
When asked about her pre-college life, she said, “I decided to pursue civil services after I got my 12th board exam results. I had got a good rank in the merit list and that is when I decided that I would prepare for UPSC CSE.”
How did you decide to pursue law? “My stream was science in twelfth std., but I didn’t want to go for engineering. Moreover, one needs to be a graduate to appear for the CSE. Therefore, I chose law keeping in mind my long-term goal of joining civil service, as I believed the study of law would facilitate better administration.”
She has now become a source of inspiration for many youths who dream to be IAS or IPS. She has achieved what others dream of. Many people read her inspirational story and get motivated. Let’s praise her for a big achievement.