CHENNAI:Until two years ago, C Vanmathi was content herding cows after returning home from college in her hometown Sathyamangalam in Erode district. That she can now look forward to being an IAS officer, after having cleared the UPSC finals, is testimony to the ground she has covered.
The 26-year-old assistant manager of the Indian Overseas Bank branch in Nambiyur, Erode, told Express that she has finally managed to realise her dream. “This was my fourth attempt. In 2011, I got as far as the personality test but was rejected. The next time, I did not clear the prelims and in 2013, I failed to clear the main exam. But now, I am there,” said the banker, who secured the all- India 152nd rank.
Ira Singhal, a physically-challenged IRS officer from Delhi topped the civil services examination in which women got the top four positions. Singhal is the first differently-abled woman to achieve the milestone. Meanwhile, Charusree T from Coimbatore aced the UPSC exams, securing the all-India 6th rank and 1st rank in Tamil Nadu. In 2013, Charu had quit her job as a hardware designer to put in extra effort for her UPSC exams.
Chenniappan, Vanmathi’s father, has been a car driver for 18 years. With a meagre monthly income of Rs 7,000, Chenniappan supported his daughter as she graduated with a BSc Computer Technology degree and later, when she went on to complete MCA part time. Subbulakshmi, Vanmathi’s mother, reared cows and would generate some income by selling milk locally.
“I used to take the cows for grazing in the open fields and it is what I enjoyed doing. I absolutely loved buffaloes. I used to do it all through my schooldays and even after getting into college,” said Vanmathi.
The father of a close friend, who is a customs officer in Thoothukudi, was her inspiration to pursue her civil service dreams. “His name is Balasubramanian and he extended financial support for my preparations,” she said. Her parents were hesitant to let their daughter pursue IAS. “More than anything, it was the financial burden.”