KARUR:It’s celebration time for Balaguru, who despite abject poverty has cracked the prestigious civil service examinations. “My childhood dream was to become a Collector. But I knew it was at a distant reach because of poverty,” said the 27-year-old, who has laboured in various jobs, including that of a security guard, before clearing the UPSC exam in his fourth attempt.
Son of Kumarasamy and Elammal, agricultural labourers at Therapadi village in Aravakurichi, Balaguru studied up to Class XII at the Aravakurichi government high school. His sister Janaki, told Express over phone that Balaguru ended up as a daily wager to sustain the family. The IAS aspirant worked in a financial enterprise in Thiruthuraipoondi from 2004-08. As a responsible brother, Balaguru, with his meagre earning of Rs 4000 a month, had arranged Janaki’s marriage in 2009.
Armed only with higher secondary education but determined to build a career, Balaguru landed up in Chennai. “I used to read newspapers at the Connemara public library in Egmore and was inspired by those preparing for the civil and other competitive examinations. I developed friendship with them and learnt that I could do a degree through correspondence course to appear for the competitive exams as well. That prompted me to pursue BA (History) with the distance education programme offered by Madurai Kamarajar university during 2008-2011,” he recalled.
In order to meet the expenses of studies and also send money to his parents, Balaguru said he worked as a security guard at the Billroth hospital in Aminjikarai and later as cashier in a restaurant. “I preferred to work night shifts in order to study in the day,” Balaguru said. He appeared for UPSC exam for the first time in 2011 and was unsuccessful. So were his attempts in 2012 and 2013. But Balaguru managed to crack it in 2014, securing 256th rank. A doting son, Balaguru credits his success to his mother who reared cattle to make him complete school education and encouraged him to go after his dream.