Press "Enter" to skip to content

Rising Above Challenges

Meet Hemant, an inspiring individual whose journey from a small village in Haryana to securing an impressive All India Rank of 884 in the UPSC examinations is a story of resilience and determination.

Hemant’s path to becoming a UPSC aspirant was shaped by personal challenges and a deep commitment to justice. Driven by a profound sense of purpose, Hemant’s journey is a testament to overcoming adversity and striving for societal growth and development. His unwavering dedication to justice and his relentless pursuit of his goals serve as a powerful inspiration to all. Hemant’s story reminds us that with determination and resilience, even the most daunting obstacles can be transformed into stepping stones to success. Read further to know more!

Please share a little about your childhood in Sirsa and how it shaped your aspirations.

I was born and brought up in a small village named Sirsa in Haryana. I completed my schooling from Dayanand Saraswati Senior Secondary School. Later I pursued my passion for agriculture and completed my graduation from Shri Karan Narendra College of Agriculture in Jobner, Rajasthan.

Being an aspirant and achieving my desired goal was not easy at all, throughout the UPSC preparation I encountered numerous challenges. There was a time when I got to know that my hardworking mother was facing injustice at her workplace. She was not getting her rightful wage of Rs 220 from the local contractors. When I tried to intervene in the matter to seek justice for her a contractor taunted me saying “tu kahin ka collector hai kya” (Are you a district collector?). This incident was the first push for me to become an aspirant.

The second incident is from my college days when I told my classmates about my desire to become an IAS officer, they made fun of me and taunted me about my background. As per them, the UPSC examination is meant for the elite class and not for someone who hailed from a small village. Their words were harsh, but I chose to ignore them and proceed with my aspirations and focus on my goals.

Pursuing the UPSC was not merely a career decision; it was a calling born out of personal experience and a deep-rooted commitment to justice. I recognized that by becoming a civil servant, I could prevent such injustices and make a meaningful difference in society.

What role did your parents play in your education and your decision to pursue a career in civil services?

The day when my results were out, I believe it was the best day for my parents so far as well as for me. I felt like all their worries disappeared after the result announcement. My parents were on cloud nine, overjoyed, and filled with pride. My success not only changed my family’s standing but also changed the perceptions of our village and how they look at my parents.

Despite all the low days, my parents never lost faith in me, they have supported me all heart and soul. They were my biggest support system throughout my entire aspirant journey. Their unwavering support and the environment they provided were essential to my success.

Can you discuss some of the specific challenges you faced as a Person with Benchmark Disability during your preparation for the UPSC exam?

Having grown up in a village that lacked basic amenities like public transport and proper roads, I have experienced firsthand the challenges and hardships faced by rural communities.

My financial situation was the biggest challenge for me to pursue the journey of the UPSC exam. There was a moment when I was left with only Rs 1400 in my pocket and I had to choose whether to go to my home town or head to Delhi for UPSC preparation. I chose the latter because I wanted to be a civil servant. On reaching Delhi my major concern was to find a better place to start my preparation but limited budget. I opted for some help from some friends and teachers and I feel lucky that most of them were very helpful in my journey.

This journey has taught me valuable lessons about resilience, perseverance, and the power of self-belief. I learned that success is not determined by one’s background or the opinions of others but by the strength of one’s own convictions and the willingness to work hard. Every challenge I faced, and every taunt I endured, only fueled my determination to prove the naysayers wrong and achieve my goals.

What was your study routine like while preparing for the UPSC exams? How did you balance intense study periods with rest and relaxation?

To build up my concepts, during the course of my UPSC preparation, I framed a standard set of books and kept up with the latest happenings.

The first thing in the early morning was to concentrate on core subjects like History, Geography, Polity and Economy. For me to check how much I understand those subjects, I would regularly solve previous years’ question papers. Later in the day, I would watch Daily News Simplified (DNS) videos on YouTube by Rau’s IAS Study Circle, which covered important subjects that appeared in newspapers. Once I was through with these videos, I would then go through the newspaper which improves my language command and enables me to revisit news already covered in DNS.

In my daily schedule, I made sure to include moments for relaxation so as to reduce stress and motivate myself. After studying for long hours both Bhajans and songs acted as a welcoming relief especially when it became necessary that one needed some time off in order to remain still positive-minded.

How did you keep yourself motivated during times when the preparation seemed particularly tough?

The journey of an aspirant is not easy and there were many instances when I doubted my abilities. I have encountered numerous people who taunted me for my aspirations. Yet, I also found humble and supportive people who stood by me and always encouraged me to the best of their capacity. One particular incident that remains etched in my memory is when I headed to Delhi to start my UPSC preparation. With only Rs. 1,400 in my pocket, I searched for jobs to support myself, but my efforts were in vain. In a moment of desperation, I approached our community head for financial assistance.

I learned that success is not determined by one’s background or the opinions of others but by the strength of one’s own convictions and the willingness to work hard. Believe in yourself, stay focused on your goals, and surround yourself with people who support and uplift you is my mantra for being motivated.

What advice would you give to other young aspirants, especially those from similar backgrounds or with disabilities, who dream of clearing the UPSC or other competitive exams?

The ones who are already in the battle of cracking the toughest exam in the country and the ones who are planning to become an aspirant have to be determined for their goal. Never let yourself get demotivated during your UPSC preparation. The journey can be challenging, but remember that success is a result of your dedication and hard work. I came across a topper’s telegram channel, I made it a point to reach out to them and ask for their advice. Never hesitate to do the same – you’d be surprised at how willing people are to help and share their knowledge.

Stay determined, stay focused, and keep striving towards your goal. Believe in yourself and your abilities, and you will surely achieve great things. The UPSC examination is not just about academic knowledge; it also tests your analytical skills, decision-making abilities, and overall aptitude. Engage in activities that enhance your critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills. You need to work on all these to achieve the goal.

Now that you are selected for the IAS, what are your hopes and plans for your new role? Are there particular areas or issues you are passionate about addressing as an IAS officer?

I was very clear about the plans and goals which I wanted to achieve after becoming an IAS. The first thing I have to do is to address the infrastructural deficiencies in rural areas. I plan to actively engage with the relevant authorities and make them realise the profound impact that basic facilities can have on the lives of individuals.

By sharing my own story of achieving success despite the lack of amenities, I hope to inspire them to prioritize the development of rural infrastructure. I firmly believe that if someone like me, with physical limitations, can excel without these facilities, imagine the untapped potential that can be unleashed when these amenities are provided. By improving public transport and road connectivity, we can open up new opportunities for countless individuals in villages like mine, enabling them to pursue their dreams and contribute to the nation’s progress.

Who are your role models or sources of inspiration that have influenced your journey and success?

I have been influenced by my mother a lot because I have seen her hard work and the way she raised me in such difficult situations. Because of my father’s bad health condition, she has to take care of everything and that’s the reason why she is my role model and also the source of inspiration throughout the journey.

“I am thrilled to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Hemant for his outstanding success in this year’s UPSC examination. Despite the significant challenges, Hemant has triumphed, serving as an inspiration to many. As he begins this new chapter, may his success inspire others and lead to a brighter future. I wish him ongoing success and fulfillment in all his future endeavors.” – Abhishek Gupta, CEO, Rau’s IAS Study Circle

Comments are closed.