India: Egg-selling cobbler’s son cracks civil services exam, becomes inspiration for society
PATNA—Where there is a will, there is a way. A cobbler’s son, who sold eggs on the streets to continue his studies, has become an inspiration locally in Aurangabad district in Bihar by cracking the coveted state civil services examination through grit and dedication.
Birendra Kumar, 27, a resident of Aurangabad district in Bihar, has qualified for the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) examination in his first attempt and will be appointed as the supply officer. Due to intense local media interest in his story, there are crowds of job aspirants at his mud-built rented house in a dingy locality of the town seeking the secrets of his success.
Kumar’s father Bhikhari Ram was a cobbler who repaired shoes/slippers in the villages to run his family of five, which included three children. After his death in 2012, the family came into deep financial trouble as the responsibility fell on the shoulders of his elder brother Jitendra Kumar, who struggled hard to make both ends meet.
Eventually, Kumar was forced to sell eggs on the streets to save his family from starvation and also to continue his studies. He continued selling eggs from a small kiosk near the office of the local district magistrate until he finally cleared the examination. He, says it feels good to taste the fruit of success after battling adverse circumstances.
“I would sell eggs in the day and rigorously study at night. I would also study at the kiosk when there were no customers,” said Kumar. There were moments of self-doubt, he admitted, given his humble background and simple education, as students from well to do families had the advantage of top coaching classes and a proper environment for studies.
“I used to feel in the beginning that cracking the examination was beyond my capacity. Then I worked to overcome my weakness while thinking over the qualities that will help me stand out among hundreds of thousands of aspirants,” he said. According to him, he didn’t get a fancy education; rather he did his schooling from a village government school and completed graduation from a local sub-divisional town college.
Kumar said he turned more serious towards his studies after being motivated by a senior named Rajiv Kumar, who changed his life. “He told me there was nothing called ‘humble family background’. All that matters is hard work and more hard work,” said Kumar, who is the first member in his family to get a government job. He is happy the next generation will not have to face such hardship in their lives, and have access to good education and living conditions.
“My family reeled under extreme poverty. So much so that fulfilling the basic needs was tough for us. But I hope the next generation will not have to pass through such trying circumstances and do odd jobs to stay alive,” Kumar said.
He said he hugely misses his mother who is not there to see his success. “I miss my mother a lot. She passed away in January this year. She often told me that working hard pays off eventually. That motivated me to put in a lot of effort into his study,” recalls Kumar, who now wants to try his luck in the Union Public Service Commission.