Coolie-to-IAS Officer; Kerala Man Cracks UPSC
By Asin Charu
Many aspire to crack the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations. As waves of candidates storm coaching centres all over the country, flood libraries & bookstores for UPSC centric books, resort to crash courses and workshops, a dedicated Kerala based coolie named Sreenath manages to break through the massive sea of aspirants with dedication hard work and perseverance.
Sreenath, a Munnar native, supported himself and his middle-class family by diligently working as a coolie in Ernakulam. He was incredibly dedicated to his profession of carrying passengers' bags and luggage at the railway station, being the breadwinner of his family.
At the age of 27 in 2018, it sparked to him that his earnings were insufficient to cover his family's future expenses. Sreenath in no way wanted his financial limitations to hinder his daughter's opportunities. He began working double shifts, but even so, his earnings were limited to just Rs 400-500 per day. Things appeared to be difficult, but Sreenath was determined to improve his circumstances.
Road to UPSC: Preparation, Challenges, Battles
Financial restrictions hindered him from purchasing study materials or hiring a teacher. His smartphone became the sole study source he could hop on to. The government provided free WiFi at the Mumbai Central Railway Station in January 2016. Sreenath's key to success was this, and it enabled him to pass the CSE exam.
Sreenath began listening to online courses while working at the railway station, with an upbeat attitude and a dedicated mentality. He did not have to spend any money on study materials and only required a smartphone, a memory card, a pair of earphones, and access to free WiFi.
This young coolie dreamt big and was determined enough to make his dreams turn to reality. Sreenath has always been future-oriented and aspired to work as a Village Field Assistant under the Land Revenue department of the government as a means to contribute to the welfare of the entire village as a whole, side-by-side to provide a strong backup for his family.
4 failed attempts did not make him give up easy. Each time he rose in resilience and finally lived to witness his dreams manifest into reality.
Coolie-gone-IAS, Sreenath is now a living inspiration to many who aspire to prosper in the field and life in general for that matter.