PATNA/BHOPAL: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. “I followed this adage with my heart and soul while preparing for the civil services examination,” said Anil Basak, whose father hawks clothes at the weekly haat (market) in Bihar’s Kishanganj.
Basak secured 45th rank at the 2020 UPSC examination, whose results were declared on Friday evening, September 24, 2021. “It was my third attempt at the exam. In the second attempt in 2019 I was ranked 619 but I continued studying. Whenever I felt a bit tense I recalled the smiling faces of my parents and other family members,” he said.
Basak is not the only one from a humble background who managed to crack the arguably toughest examination. Joining him in the ranks of the elite services are Niranjan Kumar, son of a tobacco-seller in Bihar’s Nawada district, Prabin Kumar, whose father sells medicines in Jamui, and Nimishi Tripathi, the daughter of a forest guard in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh.
Basak is the first graduate from the family, who still live in a rented house in Kishanganj. Basak said his parent’s struggles were what kept him motivated. “I have spent my childhood facing hardships, I still remember how my father, who ferries clothes on his bicycle to the local market, used to come home smiling despite the difficulties.”
He is the second of four siblings. After school, he went to Kota for coaching and successfully cracked the IIT JEE. He studied civil engineering at IIT Delhi but he continued preparing for the civil services examination. Twenty-four-year-old science graduate Nimishi’s father, Avdhesh Tripathi, works as a forest guard. A resident of the obscure Sanawad town in tribal-dominated Khargone of Madhya Pradesh, she has secured 622 rank.
Nimishi completed B.Sc (Maths) with flying colours from Delhi University’s Indraprastha College in 2017. “I’ve seen my father sweat and toil hard in the jungles of MP as a temporary employee of the forest department for years before he became a permanent employee in 2017,” she said.
“While he was posted at different places, he ensured that my mother, I and my younger sister Nikita remained in Sanawad so that there is no break in our academics. Right from childhood my father talked about how a district collector can bring a change in a district. That is how cracking the civil services exam became my ultimate dream,” Nimishi told this newspaper. “Being from the economically weaker section category, I expect to get into the Indian Revenue Service with 622nd rank. But I would take the exam again,” she said.
Family struggles shaped dreams
Anil Basak is the first graduate from his family, who still live in a rented house in Bihar’s Kishanganj; Nimishi Tripathi’s father told her in childhood how a district collector can bring a change in a district.