Two young men who made it to the UPSC list from Andhra Pradesh
There’s no law that says a farm worker’s son or an autorickshaw driver can’t
make it to the civil services. But when they do, it’s a charming story. This is
the tale of two young men who made it to the UPSC list from Andhra Pradesh
against all odds. One is the son of a National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
worker. And the other drove an auto for three years to feed a large family.
Ch Vijaya Rao, farm worker’s son from Neeladripuram village in West Godavari
district, got the 102nd rank. N Balaram, the auto driver from a hamlet in
Mahbubnagar district, got the 834rd rank in the UPSC honours list released
yesterday. Vijaya Rao beams with pride as he says ‘‘my father still works in the
fields.’’ A student of MA (Anthropology) from the University of Hyderabad, he
owes it all to his father Ch Abbulu and his brother Ananda Rao. ‘‘My mother died
in 1999 and my father and brother did everything to keep me in school.
My brother dropped out of Intermediate to earn for the family and they did all
the household work.’’ Vijaya Rao was fourth time lucky in the civils. His rank
is good enough for an IAS posting, but he wants the IPS. ‘‘I’ve always been
inspired by police officers. It is they who safeguard society and I want to do
my bit,’’ he says. The story of N Balaram is equally inspiring. Hailing from a
poor farming family in Kesyanaik thanda in Mahbubnagar district, Balaram is the
eldest of six brothers and a sister.
Throughout his life, Balaram did odd jobs to earn for his family and continue to
study through distance education. All his family members are nonliterate. While
still at school, Balaram worked at construction sites. Family compulsions meant
that he was married (to Sarada and they have three children) in 1998 in his
Intermediate years. Then he drove an auto for three years. He did his graduation
and postgraduation by distance education from Osmania University as he could not
afford to go to a regular college. Balaram got the 834rd rank in his fifth
attempt. ‘‘I did not even know what IAS stands for when I first attempted the
civils,’’ he says.