COONOOR: Perseverance, hard work and encouragement from family and friends helped 26-year-old S Malliga, daughter of K Sundaran, tea small grower, and R Chithradevi, retired Village Health Nurse, living in a tiny hamlet called Kaggula in Kotagiri taluk to make it to the UPSC this year.
“Right from childhood, my ambition has been to become an IAS officer and use that position to help the needy and now, it has become a reality that I could be in any of the civil services of the country,” Malliga told The New Indian Express.
“My parents motivated me to pursue good education. I studied up to eighth standard in Shanthi Matriculation School in Kotagiri and from ninth to Plus Two in St Joseph’s Girls’ Convent Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Coonoor. Thereafter I became B Tech graduate in Bio Technology from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University in Coimbatore,” she recalled.
“Immediately after that, I stayed in Chennai to get trained in UPSC exams. As it happened, I failed in three attempts but my parents and fellow aspirants of UPSC continued to encourage me to hone up my skills of taking the exam which has resulted in my obtaining 621st rank in the country in the UPSC exam now,” Malliga observed.
“This is significant considering that she hails from an ordinary tea grower family in a remote village – a relatively rare achievement,” former Vice Chairman of Tea Board (Union Commerce Ministry) M Bhojarajan said after complimenting Malliga.
Members of the Nilgiris-centric Baduga community, to which she belongs, have also been showering their compliments.
“As a woman civil officer, I will work for an inclusive development in society to empower women and make them leaders and decision makers for better placement of women in Government and business sectors,” Malliga said.
“Inspired by my mother’s independent attitude, I will work for building up self confidence in women to minimise the gender atrocity towards them,” she added.