Inspiring tale of a bangle seller turning IAS

IAS Ramesh Gholap is now posted in Jharkhand as Joint Secretary in the Energy Department. However, to achieve this feat he fought a long struggle. Born to a poor couple in Maharashtra, Gholap, who used to sell bangles along with his mother during childhood, finally became an IAS.

Ramesh Gholap is better known as Ramu in his village Mahagoan in Barshi Taluka of Solapur district in Maharashtra. His father Gorakh Gholap had a small business of repairing cycles. Though he was earning enough to sustain his small family with the income from the petty business, his habit of taking alcohol was the other problem.

Finding no other way soon Ramu’s mother Vimal Gholap started selling bangles in nearby villages to support the family. And despite Ramu’s left leg was affected by polio, he and his brother joined their mother in the little venture. Ramu and his brother would yell out loud, “Bangde ghya bangde (Buy bangles!),” while their mother would sell the bangles.

Despite poverty Ramu’s mother managed to admit her ambitious son Ramu to the the primary school in Barshi. Ramu stayed there with his uncle to study further.

At school he was a meritorious student and soon earned attention of the teachers. However, there was another set back waiting for him. In 2005, when he was in Class 12 and his college exams were going on, he got news of his father’s death. While it was too tough for him to even arrange the bus fare of Rs.2  he could do it with the help of neighbours and arrived for the last rites of his father.

Later Ramu chose to do D.Ed (Diploma in Education) in spite of scoring good marks in the exam, because this was the cheapest course he could afford to do to get a job as a teacher and support his family. He completed his D.Ed and also pursued a graduate degree in Arts from an open university simultaneously. And finally, he was able to start working as a teacher in 2009.

In September 2009, he took the first step towards his dream. Using the loan that his mother had taken from a SHG in his village, Ramu went to Pune to prepare for the UPSC exam, taking a leave of six months from his job.

Ramu appeared for the UPSC exams in May 2010 but unfortunately didn’t make the cut. Later

He left his job and cleared the State Institute of Administrative Careers (SIAC) exam – this gave him a hostel to stay in and a stipend as scholarship. And finally he was selected for the IAS in the year 2012.

In the next couple of months, the MPSC results were also out and this time Ramu broke all records. He topped the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exam in the year 2012.

(With inputs from The Better India)

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