Govind Jaiswal (AIR 48, 2006): His Long Walk to IAS

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It’s August end. For some of us, the prelims blitzkrieg just ended, for some, the mains gamble started, and the fuchhas, the newbies, June 2017 has already started giving them jitters. But all this, when we are still in the cocoon stage of our struggle, the stage where all we have to do is scratch the grey matter. Some of us get through the struggle part easily, many of us do not. Such is the story, a walk through struggles, of 2006 AIR 48, Govind Jaiswal. Not everyone makes headlines, he did. Lets get to know this man, this inspiration and pray altogether that, not some but many of us make it to the holy list.

Born and brought up in Varanasi. Son of a Rickshaw vendor, three sisters, the bringing up was not smooth. Quoting him in verbatim,” I used to plug in cotton buds inside my ears, for the street outside our home was so noisy, the room we lived in so small, that this wasn’t something I could choose not to.”

The Great Indian system, which expected him to continue with rickshaws and not dream beyond that, became his muse, his inspiration. For now he knew, the only thing which could lift him off the ground was education, and he grasped the fact so hard that there was no turning back. In one of his interactions, he got to know the one thing, by becoming which one could gain respect, of peers, of society, for himself and his parents.

And the golden words were, An IAS officer. This stuck to his mind like, metal to magnet, detractors tried pulling him back, society said, “Oh! you aren’t destined for this, why the pains?” He soon answered the benign concern nevertheless. For his home is now, “IAS ka ghar”.

He got through his college education from BHU, economic constraints here too, but the fire never died, he never stopped dreaming. Then on a leap of faith, he came to Delhi, the Mecca of aspirants.

The going wasn’t easy. His father had to sell all his land to sum up a meagre Rs.30,000/- for him. Govind too kept on with sustenance by giving tuitions while in Delhi. The struggle was real. Two times a meal became luxury, having had enjoyed dinner with the leftovers of lunch. And with all these the constant thought of his father, the hopes, the heavy feeling.

He chose Philosophy and History as his optionals, yes the time when there used to be two, lucky you. His hindi background was an area of concern for him, like it is for many amongst us, as if English is the sole parameter of achievement. But all he could do was work on it, and he excelled at working.

“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”. Govind exemplified the phrase and made it through the mains. Dholpur house, the holy list, were so near, yet so far. The interview went well, like it went for hundreds like him. Quoting his sister, “ Had he not made it to the list, someone of us could have died. Things were this tensed.” And he did make it to the list.

But we all know, Govind isn’t the only one. Many of us have had seen things, much more miserable, through this hallowed journey. You feel down by the constant feeling, the thought of, “what if I don’t get through”, well, don’t let that thought die. Wear it on your arm, like a badge, let no one, not even you, your thoughts take over your aspirations. Nothing can be stronger than your will, if you must. You are, what your struggles have moulded you into. The product of your hardships.

Do not get too much into strategies, do not plan to plan everything. Do not feel down if you fail to cover the target you set for the day. Believe in yourself. You will get through, you have to get through. The nation needs officers like Govind, like you.

And when you’ll wave us from the other side, the party wouldn’t have ended, rather lifelong celebrations would have just begun. A new life in the making. A life of giving, of fulfilling the needs, of materializing the vision a young boy saw in the bylanes of Varanasi.


Contributed by Shreesh Kala.

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By Root

Caretaker @civilsdaily

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