Will to serve people kept them going

Against all odds

Will to serve people kept them going


Manjushree N

Manjushree N, who secured the 65th rank, is physically disabled. Though this was her fourth attempt. She had made it to the interviews in 2007. “I could not qualify at that time. My effort was not very good and I had a very casual approach. It is only when you fail that you learn,” she says.

Her only worry was how tough her posting would be, as several people had remarked that people with disabilities often got very tough postings. But that did not faze her. Manjushree is already the tahsildar with the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and passionate about her work.

As she interacted with villagers in her course of work, she realised the struggle that people in the villages faced. She remarks: “Living in Bangalore is like living in a virtual world. It’s only when you step outside, that you realise the conditions people live in. There is no awareness, no implementation of programmes and no idea of what a government does.” This is what she intends to change.

Daughter of Narasimhaiah, a revenue officer in BBMP, Manjushree says that it was her father who put the thought of civil services in her head. When she started preparing for civils, she picked Political Science and Kannada literature, because people told her it was easy to score marks in Kannada literature. “That’s completely untrue. But it was great reading literature, when the other subjects got a little too heavy,” she laughs.

Shock of his life

Girish P SFrom working in the fields, it has been a long road for Girish P S, who secured the 783 rank in his second attempt. Hailing from a small village called Bittekoppal in Mandya, along with his studies he used to help his father, Shivaramegowda in the fields. “My village is so small that it does not have more than 30 houses. Almost all the people are illiterate. But my father was insistent that I study. I am very grateful to him for that,” he says.

One morning, as he was entering the fields holding a basket on his head, an electricity wire soaked in rain shocked him. After 20 days of coma and four months of hospitalisation, (he was 15 then) he had lost his right arm entirely and just about managed to retain his left arm.

But this handicap has not deterred Girish in any way, as he scored 90 per cent in II PUC and got a medical seat. He later gave up the seat and opted for BSc in agriculture at UAS Bangalore. He went on to pursue his MSc in Hyderabad, when he decided to write his civils. His help came from his seniors and friends who encouraged him all the way.

He is motivated by the simple thought that he would not want to settle for a white collar job. “This is the only job where I can really help people. That is all I have ever wanted to do,” he remarks.

Though he is happy with the result, he plans to write it again if he does not make it to IAS.

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