How this UPSC topper from Tamil Nadu slept on train platforms in a relentless pursuit of his dreamsThink Change India
When the UPSC results were announced recently, they brought good and bad news to many civil services aspirants across the country. For Tamil Nadu-based IAS aspirant M Sivaguru Prabakaran, his long-time dream of following the footsteps of J Radhakrishnan, who was the collector of the district of Thanjavur when the tragic fire at the Kumbakonam school occurred, came true.
Son of an alcoholic, Prabhakaran secured the 101st rank, and became one among the 990 individuals who cleared the UPSC this year. He hails from the Melaottankadu in Pattukottai in Thanjavur District, where his mother and sister earned a living selling coconut leaves. According to India Today, Prabhakaran, despite the hurdles, worked as a sawmill operator, and practised agriculture to meet the ends.
In 2008, he enrolled into the engineering stream at the Thanthai Periyar Vellore Government Technology Institute and was a Tamil-medium student. This was also the time a friend of his referred him to a tutor who trained under privileged students like him at St. Thomas Mount, Chennai.
He then travelled to Chennai often to be trained for the IIT entrance exams. With no place to stay in Chennai, he often spent time taking refuge at the St. Thomas Mount station. When not attending tuitions, he would work at a mobile recharging station.
Working for four years, he helped marry off his elder sister and ensured his younger brother was financially backed for his education. He then returned to academia in pursuit of his dreams. In 2014, he graduated with an M.Tech degree at IIT Madras with 9.0 GPA, says a post on IAS Paper.
He tasted success with UPSC after four attempts. The other toppers from the region are V Keerthi Vasan at 29, L Madhubalan at 71 and S Balachander at 129.
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