Ramesh Gholap’s IAS success story is unusual. It is unusual because success didn’t come to Ramesh just because he joined the right coaching institute, or he took part in a test series. It came to him because he worked extremely hard amidst quite grim circumstances. Circumstances that would have made people of a fainter heart give up.
Son of a cycle repair shop owner, Ramesh hails from a little-known village called Mahagoan in Maharashtra’s Solapur district. After his father’s health prevented him from earning a livelihood, his mother Vimal started chipping in by selling bangles. Ramu, as Ramesh is known to his family and friends, along with his brother used to help her sell bangles. Despite poverty, Ramesh was a brilliant student and regarded highly by his teachers. When he was in class XII, he lost his father. He had to take help from a few kind people to give him his bus fare in order to reach his native village to attend the funeral since he was staying with an uncle to study. Although deeply saddened by the loss, he took the final exam and scored a good 88.5%.
Ramu decided to pursue D.Ed (Diploma in Education) despite scoring good marks because this was the cheapest course he could find. He also could get a job as a teacher and support his family. Along with this degree, he also pursued a degree in Arts through distant education. In 2009, Ramesh got employment as a teacher.
Surrounded by poverty and having experienced it first-hand, Ramesh wanted to change the system. Pained by his mother’s unsuccessful attempts to get a house from the government via a scheme for widows, and also by the malpractices in ration shops which denied needy families like his a decent meal, he decided to do something. He formed a political party and had his mother stand for the Panchayat elections. Even though she lost the elections, Ramu marched ahead in life. He took leave for 6 months from his job and started preparing for the UPSC exam. He gave his first attempt in 2010 but didn’t clear it. In 2012, he gave the exam his all and cleared it with a rank of 287. He had achieved his IAS dream. The same year, he got a double delight as he also cleared the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) and achieved rank 1! He also scored the highest ever marks in MPSC of 1244 out of 1800.
Apart from his IAS job, Ramesh now gives motivational talks to youngsters and inspired people to achieve their dreams. His proud mother says, “I couldn’t get an education but I had decided that I would educate my sons. Today, my son has become such a big officer and that makes me so happy…. my boy has returned all my debts!”
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