Written byRamya Patelkhana ·
The UPSC Civil Services Examination (CSE) is one of the most challenging exams and cracking it isn't easy.
Rajesh, who hailed from a poor family and once sold bread/vegetables, battled poverty and beat all odds to become an IAS officer.
Here's more on his inspiring journey.
Hailing from an extremely impoverished household, achieving his IAS dream wasn't a cakewalk for Rajesh. His parents toiled as manual laborers to barely support their family, according to TheBetterIndia.
However, Rajesh always wanted to become an IAS officer, even as a child used to call his mother "Collector's mom". In 2005, when the UPSC CSE results were declared, his mother was the happiest.
Rajesh hailed from a small village in Maharashtra's Jalgaon where his parents had tiny agricultural land.
His family struggled through crop failures, severe drought, and high debt. To reduce his parents' burden, Rajesh sold bread and vegetables as a child and worked as an agricultural laborer until graduation.
But, he was determined to do something to bring his people out of poverty and hunger.
Rajesh's parents were worried about his future as he wasn't that great in studies initially. However, he became interested in studies when some friends and teachers helped him.
He did well in Class-10 after which he excelled in Class-12 exams. Though he could have easily gotten into the best engineering and medical colleges, he couldn't afford to pursue these courses due to financial constraints.
Rajesh later joined the Indian Statistical Service, but his goal was to make it to the administrative services.
"I wanted to bring changes at the ground-level... I'd attribute the struggles I'd been through...for instilling...that spirit of hardwork and persistence to never give up on my dreams. When I came to know that I'd made it to the IAS, I knew I'd arrived," he said.
"I personally saw it (IAS) as an opportunity to be a part of the very transformation...I'd always wanted to partake in and that I would be able to connect to the people at the grassroots-level, inspire them, and be inspired in the process," Rajesh said.
After training, Rajesh joined IAS under the Odisha Cadre. He's currently the Chief Executive Officer and Director (Employment) of Odisha Skill Development Authority.
Rajesh's story is truly inspiring which proves that nothing is impossible.
In 2008, he authored a book in Marathi, Tai Mi Collector Vhayanu, to share his story which was published in English earlier this year, titled Maa, I've Become A Collector.
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