“I was in Class 4. My parents wanted to withdraw me from school so that I could earn a wage like my other siblings and cousins. But my teacher insisted that I was a bright child and they should let me study. That perhaps was the life-changing moment of my life.
Today I am the first graduate in my family and of course the first IAS. I come from Shelgaon in Jalna district of Maharashtra- a poor drought-prone area. My father was an auto rickshaw driver and my mother worked as a daily wager on farms. It’s been a long journey.
In college, I could barely afford anything. I wore chappals to college and came from a vernacular medium- I always felt like I wasn’t good enough. Then UPSC happened and everything changed. I had proved myself. Now I know that it’s not my clothes or shoes that matter – I don’t feel less than anyone anymore.
But it’s not the end of the road. I’ve seen a lot of wrongs in my life – my sister’s early marriage, the dowry. As a child, I worked at a restaurant too. I had no power to control these wrongs so close to me now I feel like I can prevent these injustices to children as I have the power to negotiate with society, the fearlessness to call wrong from right – all this means so much.
“I was in Class 4. My parents wanted to withdraw me from school so that I could earn a wage like my other siblings and…