Having cracked the UPSC exams on Thursday, retired IAS officer K G Vanzara’s daughter-in-law Sudhambika, 28, credits her family and in-laws. Vanzara himself credits his wife Shakuntala, not only for encouraging their daughter-in-law, who he says hadn’t been confident initially, but also for “making” their daughter Manjitha a DSP.
K G Vanzara, incidentally, is a brother of jailed IPS officer D G Vanzara.
He issued a statement of celebration: “In Indian tradition generally mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are always daggers drawn. Mostly mothers-in-law become instrumental in the self-immolation or burning of daughters-in-law for dowry.
As an exception to this scenario, one illiterate mother-in-law Shakuntala Vanzara successfully got her daughter-in-law Sudhambika [to clear] the Civil Services Examination.”
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He said his wife was an “illiterate woman from Vadali village of Sabarkantha who took revenge against destiny first by making her daughter Manjita a directly recruited Deputy Sepurintendent of Police and then encouraged daughter-in-law Sudhambika to clear UPSC exams”.
“Sudhambika, though an engineer, had no confidence to crack the top competitive examination. Shakuntala was not eager to be the grandmother and persuaded son Himmat Vanzara not to expect all the rights of married life.”
Sudhambika says she was never allowed to enter the kitchen or get engaged in household chores. While talking about the support she got from her in-laws, especially mother-in-law Shakuntala Vanzara, as well as her mother Lakshmi R Naik, she says “they kept me out of domestic work and always encouraged me study. They helped me in taking coaching in Delhi. It is due to their support that I got time to study and succeed this time [this was her third attempt],” she said from Bangalore.
Sudhambika, who hails from Shimoga in Karnataka, is a masters in electronics & communication from University of Westminster. In 2006, she was introduced to her would-be father-in-law by a maternal uncle during a Banjara community festival in Bangalore. She got engaged to Himmat Vanzara the next year and married him in 2008.
“Given a chance I would like to go for IAS since women’s representation in the bureaucracy is still quite dismal. For this I look at my father-in-law who has done a tremendous job in highlighting the plight of vulnerable society.” Sudhambika’s rank at 1061, however, might not get her into the IAS in spite of the reservation benefit, Vanzara conceded.