(Success Story) UPSC Topper 2015 - Sandeep Kumar

(Success Story) UPSC Topper 2015 - Sandeep Kumar

For Sandeep Kumar, son of a rickshaw puller, the journey to realising his dreams has not been an easy one. The 28-year-old Dalit scholar, who did his BA in Political Science through correspondence, has cracked the civil service exam despite all odds.

Kumar says the death of his father fuelled in him the fire to crack the exam and secure a better future for his family.

“I have always wanted to be a civil servant. I believe that to represent my community and to formulate policies that are more inclusive across caste lines, people from the backward classes need to have a bigger presence in the services,” he said. Kumar lives in a transit camp for slum dwellers displaced from Kathputli Colony in west Delhi.

Kumar did not have the luxury to attend coaching classes. His 10×12 ft makeshift cabin is where he studied for the exams. He used to work as an accountant in Moti Nagar, earning Rs 5,000 a month and studying after work. He finally quit to focus on the exam.

“Working and studying simultaneously was quite a task. Since my father died, my brother and I were the breadwinners. We had to run the household and support our mother, who has supported us for years. My brother works in an MNC. He encouraged me to quit my job and focus solely on the exam,” he said.

Kumar’s success has inspired several neighbours, most of whom are children of migrant labourers, to prepare for the exam as well. However, Kumar is not very content as his rank qualifies him for the IPS and IRS, but not the IAS.

This, he says, is merely a stepping stone as he intends to give the exam another shot next year in the hope of a higher rank. “I am very happy with the IPS as well. One of things I want to do when I join the force is I will be to increase the presence of women in the police force. Several of our neighbours have been harassed by police officers for crimes they have not committed. Seeing such things makes me angry, and I would like to be a part of the long process to change this attitude.”

Kumar says his mother and his two sisters — who are married and live in Maharashtra — sacrificed a great deal for him.


Courtesy: The Indian Express