I come from the small town of Chhattisgarh, Dhamtari, which is home to nearly 3 per cent of Chhattisgarh's total population. I did my schooling at a Chhattisgarh Board school and completed my 12th standard with Commerce in 2014.
I started preparing for Chartered Accountancy (CA), and with all my efforts and luck, I cleared all the stages of the CA examination on the first attempt. Due to this, I became a qualified CA and a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in 2018.
After completing my CA, I took up Civil Services as I was inclined toward good governance and service to people. I took coaching as part of my preparation for UPSC CSE in virtual mode. My family's emotional and mental support was why I sustained the preparation phase for three years (2018-21).
I appeared for UPSC CSE for the first time in 2020 and couldn't succeed. I qualified for the first stage but couldn't make it through the interview round. The time came when I started shrinking mentally. I faced failure for the first time in my academic career, and I couldn't get over it as I've been a topper before. I felt like I'd lost my sheen. The 2021 examination was the second attempt which I cleared.
Phase Of Self-Doubt And Mental Breakdown
I already had a six-figure monthly salary in my hand, but my self-belief pushed me towards becoming what I am today. If one has a self-belief, confidence and willingness to put in the hard work, then nothing is impossible. People face mental breakdowns and even lose friends, but their aim shouldn't be dismantled due to such small things.
The three years of my preparation were filled with ups and downs and a constant feeling of not being enough. Even I had self-doubt amid my preparation about whether I was wasting my golden years and should I join a job instead and end up in the preparation. I had to cut off from my larger friend group and the people around me, which was emotionally a negative factor for me.
Small Town Aspirants Can Also Become An IAS
I come from a tier-2 city of Chhattisgarh. UPSC aspirants don't need to go to Delhi and Indore for preparation, especially for those who are economically not stable. The place of preparation shouldn't restrict the canvas of imagination.
The aspirants from small towns fear competing with someone from a prominent private school in a big cities like Mumbai and Delhi. Hopefully, my achievements will set an example for those aspirants.
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