From someone who has dreamt of being a collector since he was eight to another who works as a guard to fund his coaching — they are some of the faces at the centre of the UPSC protests. ADITI VATSA meets them to find out why they are angry
KESHAV N SINGH, 25
Detained near India Gate
From: Jehanabad, Bihar. Now stays in a room in Gopalpur village near Mukherjee Nagar, paying a monthly rent of Rs 2,000.
Family: His parents used to work as farm labourers, now too old to work. He has six elder sisters.
Education: History graduate from Magadh University, Bodh Gaya. Studying for a postgraduate degree in history from Nalanda Open University.
Medium of Education: Hindi
Coaching: A coaching centre in Mukherjee Nagar waived off his fee for a general studies course.
Earlier UPSC attempts: Twice — 2012 and 2013.
Why UPSC? Singh, a self-proclaimed environmental activist, says a chance meeting with a minister in the Nitish Kumar government convinced him to take up the civil services exam. “I would run from one government office to the other to raise environmental issues. I once met the agriculture minister who said that instead of asking others to act on environmental issues, I should join the UPSC and act myself,” Singh says.
His story: In 2012, Singh borrowed Rs 2,000 from his father and headed for Delhi. “There was no way my father could have given me any more money. I assured my parents I would find a way to sustain myself once I reach Delhi,” he says. In Mukherjee Nagar, besides preparing for his exams, he distributes pamphlets of coaching institutes. “I get Rs 300 a day for distributing pamphlets. I also worked as a night guard in Indira Vihar,” he says.
SUHAS GOWDA, 28
Held last week at Parliament Street police station
From: Bangalore. Now lives in Mukherjee Nagar, north Delhi.
Family: His father is a chartered accountant with the Archaeological Survey of India and his mother is a homemaker. His sister is a software professional.
Education: B.Tech from Visvesvaraya Technological University, Bangalore. Masters in International Business (Grande École, France). He also has a B.Com degree through distance learning.
Coaching: Sri Ram IAS Academy in Rajendra Nagar, Delhi. Paid Rs 1 lakh for an eight-month-long course in general studies.
Earlier UPSC attempts: “Once, last year. I missed the preliminary cut-off marks by 8-9 marks.”
Why UPSC? “After my engineering degree, I went to study in France hoping to earn a lot of money, dreaming of owning a slew of luxury cars. However, my subsequent visits to India made continued…