12 Jun 2019
The Civil Services Examination (CSE) conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) every year is one of the most popular and challenging competitive exams.
The preparation for UPSC CSE is considered an expensive affair and many aspirants can't afford formal IAS exam coaching.
However, here are the success stories of five UPSC rankers who beat poverty to crack the Civil Services Examination.
How Shikha Surendran fought her way out of poverty
Shikha Surendran, hailing from a small village in Kerala's Ernakulam, was brought up in meager means.
Her attention was diverted to the civil services in Class-6 by her father who told her that education was "the only way out of poverty".
When preparation in Delhi didn't suit her, she returned to her village and only prepared using online resources to crack CSE-2017 with AIR-16.
Gopala Krishna Ronanki, a poor farmer's son, cracked CSE-2016' width='100%'/>
Gopala Krishna Ronanki, a poor farmer's son, cracked CSE-2016
Gopala Krishna Ronanki, the son of a poor farmer from Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district, cracked the UPSC CSE 2016.
Because of his family's extremely poor financial background, Ronanki could not study at prestigious educational institutes and also could not afford coaching classes for the UPSC exam.
Even without proper coaching, he secured AIR 3 in the Civil Services Examination 2016.
Grocer's daughter Sweta Agarwal beat all odds to secure AIR-19
Sweta Agarwal, the daughter of a grocer in Bhadreswar in Hooghly district of West Bengal, overcame all odds to crack the UPSC CSE 2015.
Agarwal, who had even struggled to gain basic education facilities, battled poverty to realize her dream. She had cracked the UPSC exam twice before; however, she wanted to become an IAS officer. In the CSE 2015, she secured AIR-19.
Sivaguru Prabakaran slept on platforms, overcame poverty
The story of M Sivaguru Prabakaran, who secured AIR-101 in CSE-2017, is truly inspiring.
Hailing from Melaottankadu village in Tamil Nadu's Thanjavur, Prabakaran initially sacrificed his dream to pursue engineering as his family couldn't afford.
However, he then worked as a sawmill operator, did farming, slept on railway-platforms, and earned for his education and later did MTech from IIT-Madras in 2014 before cracking CSE-2017.
Inspiring story of an IAS-officer who grew up in orphanage
The story of IAS officer Mohammad Ali Shihab of a remote village in Kerala's Malappuram is incredible.
Born in a poor family, he used to sell betel leaves and bamboo baskets with his father. However, after his father passed away, Shihab was sent to an orphanage.
He worked as a peon, a clerk, and a government-school teacher before finally cracking the CSE-2011 with AIR-226.