The Logical Indian Crew

My Story: 'I Sustained Financial Difficulties By Giving Private Tuitions And Aid Through Government Scholarships'

Himanshu Gupta would work at his father's tea shop before and after school. He let go of his scholarship abroad because he could not leave his family. He cleared the 2019 exam for IPS and in 2020, became an IAS Officer.

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My parents are school dropouts. I spent my childhood watching my father work as a daily wage earner and barely making ends meet. Still, he made sure we went to school regularly. I spent my childhood in Sitarganj, Uttarakhand. My father also ran a tea stall for a few years just outside our home to earn. I would work with him in the morning and after school. When I would notice my classmates passing by our tea stall, I would hide. Together, both of us contributed to meet our household expenses.

I was about 13 when my parents moved to a small town called Sirauli in District Bareilly, where we live today. My school was 35 kilometres away, and I would travel up and down every day. My father started a general store here, and I would help him run the same. But I would dream of living in a city and making a better life for myself and my family.

' I Learned Speaking English Through Movies'

I knew that I would get admission into a reputed university if I studied hard. I did not speak English, so I'd rent English movie DVDs from a neighbouring shop and watch them learn the language. I remember cherishing it so much. I'd also use my father's old phone with a 2G connection to find colleges seeking admission. Fortunately, I could score decent in my board exams to get into Hindu College, Delhi University.

I was ecstatic, and my parents told me, 'We don't exactly know what you'll get out of doing graduation there, but we will support you in whatever way we can!'. Sending me to Delhi was a hard decision for them. I was terrified once I entered college; I was in unfamiliar surroundings amongst students who spoke and carried themselves confidently. I was no match for their oratory skills academic and non-academic accolades, among others. But I was there to learn. And that's what I did; I'd study, travel, and interact. I was on an exploration spree.

All this took the money; I took on the responsibility to fund my education. I'd earn through giving private tuitions and writing paid blogs. This and a few governments annual scholarships allowed me to sustain myself. And after three years, I graduated from Hindu College with flying colours. My parents aren't expressive people, but I knew they were proud. My experiences in graduation gave me confidence, and I eventually pursued my Masters also from DU. Again, I'd juggle between my side jobs and find time to study. I thoroughly enjoyed my master's education. And the result? I topped my university! As a result of my efforts in my masters, I was offered a handsome scholarship to pursue my PhD in a reputed foreign university.

'I Chose To Stay Back'

My dreams had come true, but I was in a fix. I couldn't abandon my family and live abroad. It was the hardest decision, but I chose to stay back, and after months of relentless pondering, I thought of joining the Civil Services. But again, the shortage of humongous coaching fees and belief in self-study since the beginning pushed me to resort to self-study. But, I failed the first time I wrote UPSC CSE. I was devastated. I thought, 'Did I give up my career for nothing for the first time. Maybe I can't do this.' But I wasn't a quitter! I put my disappointment aside and joined as a research scholar in an MPhil program. The JRF fellowship allowed me to support myself and my family. I would spend time in the mornings studying for my civil exams and doing my research work during the day for over a year. I gave CSE 2018, and the result came in April 2019. When I saw my name in that holy PDF, I just soaked in the joy I felt.

I wasn't content, though. I was allocated IRTS, but I wanted to be an IAS. I wrote again in 2019 and became an IPS officer. Still wasn't content. I wrote UPSC CSE again in 2020 and finally became an IAS officer. It took me three years of continuous churning in the UPSC cycle to become an IAS. I teared up when my mother told me, 'What better gift for parents than to be known by their parents' name!' My father still runs his general store. I hope my story inspires people to believe that it doesn't matter where they are from, which school they studied in, or how much money their parents earn; all your dreams are achievable.

If you too have an inspiring story to tell the world, send us your story at mystory@thelogicalindian.com

Contributors Suggest Correction
Writer : Ratika Rana
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Editor : Ankita Singh
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Creatives : Ratika Rana