Hard work pays off and this has been proved by Ramesh Gholap – a specially-abled bangle seller who became an IAS officer defying all odds. Then 2121 batch IAS officer has been posted in Jharkhand as Joint Secretary in the Energy Department.
All the struggles could not stop Ramesh from becoming what he is today.
According to The Better India, his father Gorakh Gholap ran a cycle repair shop, enough to provide an income for his family of four, but the business did not last long as his health suffered from constant drinking. He passed away when Ramu was still in school.
It was then that Ramesh’s mother Vimal Gholap started selling bangles in nearby villages to support the family. And though Ramesh’s left leg was affected by polio, he and his brother joined their mother in her little venture. Ramesh and his brother would yell out loud, “Bangde ghya bangde (Buy bangles!),” and their mother would help the women try them on.
Resident of Maharashtra’s Mahagaon in Barshi Taluka, Solapur district, Ramesh went to stay with his uncle in Barshi for education. Despite thriving in academics in school days, Ramesh did a Diploma in Education as it was the only course he could afford. He didn’t stop there and also pursued a graduate degree in arts from an open university and in 2009, he became a teacher.
During his college times, Ramesh met a tehsildar and he inspired him to do something great. After his mother borrowed some money from a self-help group, Ramesh quit his job and went to Pune for six months to prepare for UPSC.
He told The Better India, “The first teacher who met me was Mr Atul Lande. I requested him to write down the answers to a few of my questions, like what is UPSC, can it be taken in Marathi, am I eligible for it, etc. And he told me there was nothing to stop me from taking the UPSC. It is only because of that one statement that I finally did it.”
Ramesh tried for UPSC exam in 2010 but he did not qualify then.
As per a report by The Logical Indian, Ramesh cracked State Institute of Administrative Careers (SIAC) exam, which offered him a hostel and a scholarship. To meet his daily expenses, he painted posters besides focusing on studies.
Finally, he cracked the UPSC examination with an AIR of 287. After a few months, his MPSC results were also out where he topped with the highest-ever marks of 1,244 out of 1,800. At present, Ramesh plies his trade as joint secretary in Jharkhand’s energy department.
“Whenever I cancel the licence of a PDS shop owner who has been black-marketing kerosene, I remember my days when I had to turn off the lantern for lack of kerosene. Whenever I help a widow, I remember my mother begging for a house or for her pension. Whenever I inspect a government hospital, I remember my father’s words when he had left drinking and just wanted better treatment. He would ask me to become a big man and take him to a private hospital. Whenever I help a poor child, I remember myself, I remember Ramu,” he told The Better India.