People from nooks and corner of the country knuckle down themselves into stern preparations for UPSC exam. Several lakh aspirants appear for civil services exams conducted by UPSC every year, while only a handful of them get to taste the success.
People spend their entire young years in the hope to clear this three-tier exams and keep themselves indulged into strict study and coaching schedules. To clear it in the very first attempt takes un-describable efforts and only seldom people are able to nail that. Coaching, endless hours of studying, dedication, good health, supportive parents are just a few to name that a person usually requires to nail this exam.
But as they say, life isn’t easy! Life can throw the worst at you when you expect it the least. The news is full of unusual success stories of people who cleared the civil service exams but this exceptional story of a girl has left us spellbound and we feel, you too should know about her.
So, a slum girl, Ummul Kher suffering with a rare bone disease wanted to study beyond 8th standard but her parents told that she ‘couldn’t’. If she studied anymore, her parents would cut all ties with her or simply disown her. Now, in such a complicated situation most of us would have chosen to live conveniently with parents. But the sheer determined girl bought her own ‘jhuggi’ and started earning at the tender age of 14 by taking tuition classes, day and night. Children from nearby slum areas flooded in to study and she took four batched of 2 hours each from 3pm to 11pm. ” I got between Rs 50-100 from each student. I couldn’t have expected more as these were the children of labourers, iron smith, rickshaw-puller, etc,” she said. She used her hard-earned money to fund her education.
She taught those kids and studied herself simultaneously while suffering from a rare bone disease as well.After securing 91% in her 12th exams she did her Psychology (Hons) from Gargi College and then enrolled herself at JNU for MA in international studies. While her dream of civil services simmered within she continued her long hours of tuitions but the break came in when she got the Junior Fellow Researchship of Rs. 25000 and that was when she no more had to endure long hours of tuitions for survival and could fully focus on the UPSC exams. And after 16 fractures and 8 surgeries, here is this 28 years old Ummul Kher, a pretty girl with a wide relaxed smile on her face for she has cracked the UPSC exam in the very first attempt and achieved 420 rank. She hopes to get into IAS under disability quota.
And talking about her parents, she says, “I don’t blame them. They were brought up in an environment that shaped their thinking. It is not their fault.” She hasn’t informed her parents about this massive success yet, who live in Rajasthan.
Ummul Kher candidly shares that it was in second standard that she had first heard of the Civil services when she learnt about Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, and this had inspired her about dreaming of civil services!
Today after cracking the IAS exams, Ummul Kher in all her humility says that she does not blame her parents for not supporting her at all during lone struggle and as a matter of fact sees it as a compelling circumstance that led and emboldened her to take it up as a challenge and turn her childhood dream into reality!
For once JNU is in news for all right reasons demolishing the pseudo mainstream propaganda that poverty and destitution drives youth into separatism, perhaps it is time for some headmasters sons and jilted lovers to learn that it is not by pelting stones but by honest perseverance for a respectable life that can get even a street vendor’s child to hold top administrative positions by respecting the democratic system.
Ummul Kher dreams about making her dream contagious among many more not so privileged children especially girls and India needs more such role models who genuinely qualify to be called PhD Scholars without the cacophony of pseudo liberalism or the hunger for media glare!
We are absolutely stunned and short of words to praise this superwoman who stayed determined throughout the 14 tough years of life with a disease and no parental support. Ummel, you are a true trailblazer. Much respect and love! We hope you have a better and an easier life ahead with truck loads of happiness.