He used to repair punctured cycle tubes, now he is an IAS officer: Read the story of Varun Baranwal

Transition in every individual’s life is obvious if one gives absolutely everything to fulfill the goal. Ask a successful person about how they did it and they would simply say there are no shortcuts to real success.

One must realize that only hard work, great diligence as well as commitment is required to touch the pinnacle of success. Above all, believing in oneself is also one of the great ways to outsmart challenges.

Varun Baranwal has done something special that others can only dream of. Despite facing the difficulties in his career, he didn’t let the negativity get the better of him as he managed to tackle every snippet of move to clear one of the toughest UPSC civil service exams at the age of 23.

Hailing from the small town of Boisar in Palghar district of Maharashtra, Varun always dreamt of becoming a doctor. His father had a cycle repair shop where he worked hard to provide a good life to Varun and his sister. 

Everything was going well but a storm came out of nowhere in his life when his father had died of a heart attack in March 2006, just four days after Varun’s 10th Board exams.

The demise of Varun’s father pushed his family into trouble. Now, all responsibilities had come on Varun’s shoulder. On the other hand, hospital bills left Varun’s family in huge debt. His older sister was a teacher but her salary and tuitions were not enough to pay off the loans and fulfil the family’s daily needs as well.

Now, Varun was left with no choice but to stop his own education and carry on his father’s business. 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.

One day, Dr. Kampli, who had treated his father before he passed away, saw Varun repairing a cycle. Dr Kampli asked Varun about his future plans. Varun told him that he had quit his studies due to financial constraints.

Teachers also came to know about his financial condition, therefore his fees for 11 and 12 classes were waived off. After class 12, he enrolled in engineering college. Again he was not able to pay his college fees. He says, his mother, his sister and he had some savings which helped him to pay college fees for the first year. But unable to pay for the second year. Then his friends helped him to pay fees for the second year. 

Varun had tears in his eyes when he was saying all this. As always, Varun topped in the first semester at MIT College, Pune. Now, he became eligible to apply for a scholarship. However, the application and approval process was so complicated that it was approved after the second year.

The scholarship was provided for the third year and final year fees. In 2012, when Varun was in his final year, he got several job offers from multinational companies. In January 2013, he decided to prepare for the Civil Services Exam. but he had only four months to prepare for the prelims exam.

He prepared and appeared for the civil services preliminary examination. After the exam, he developed a strong feeling that he would pass the prelims exam and he started preparing for the mains exam without giving it a second thought. 

The Civil Services Examination (CSE) is considered one of the toughest exams in India conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. Everyone dreams to clear the Civil Services Exam, but very few are fortunate to crack the exam. Today, we are talking about such a man named Varun Baranwal who cracked the exam in his first attempt and set an example for many people who think that clearing UPSC in the first attempt is not possible. Cycle repair Varun Baranwal is now an IAS officer. He has become a source of inspiration for thousands of youth.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.