Life Story: "It's Not My Clothes Or Shoes That Matter," An Autorickshaw Driver's Son's Journey To Being IAS Officer
“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…