Hrudaya Kumar Das, son of a marginal farmer who belongs to the below poverty line (BPL) section, has cracked the civil services examination.
Das, a native of Angulai village, has secured a 1,079th rank in the civil services examination, results of which were announced yesterday. Das is certain to make it to the Group-A all-India allied services.
Das's parents as well as his fellow villagers are overjoyed with the news.
"There is no shortcut to success. Where there is a will, opportunities will come regardless of constraints," Das, whose father supports the family by farming, said.
"I had studied in the government-run primary and high schools at the village. Later, I did my Plus Two science courses from the Marshaghai College here. I passed with second division marks. My Plus Two results had left me shattered. I was a good batsman. I had made up my mind to pursue cricket. I had represented the district team in the Kalahandi Cup inter-district cricket tournament. However, uncertain future in cricket forced me towards academic spheres. I was admitted to a five-year integrated MCA course at Utkal University. The academic environment there provided me with the boost for trying out my luck in the civil services exam. In two of the earlier attempts, I had failed to make the grade. I have tasted success this time. My parents supported me all along. All these contributed to the civil success," Das said.
"My parents are poor. We live in an Indira Awash Yojana house. My father tills agriculture fields. We used to own 2.5 acres of farmland. But, my father was forced to sell off one acre to bear the cost of my studies."
"I have faced trials and tribulations of life from an early age. With great hardship, my father has provided me with the monetary support for studies. I did not let him down. Parental support, divine blessings and my perseverance helped me to crack the civil services exam," Das said.
"My income is limited. Hrudaya had been sincere towards studies. I have performed my duty as a father by providing all the support I could afford," said Sunakar Das, Hrudaya's father.
"He has made us proud. His achievement has left millions of English-medium school students behind. It's a myth that only English-medium students get the coveted job," said Babaji Charan Sahu, a teacher at Angulai Primary School, where Hrudaya had studied.
"The members of the civil services interview board had flooded me with questions on Odisha's poverty, its unimpressive economic growth, industrialisation scenario. Issues such as poor governance mechanism and unfair distribution of social security schemes and pilferage of government grants right, were talked about during the interview. I had managed to impress the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) board members despite some initial fumbles," Das said.