When he assumed office as the Kollam district collector on Monday, it was a dream come true for B Abdul Nasar who was raised in an orphanage till the age of 17 after losing his father as a five-year-old.
A visit by Thalassery’s sub-collector to the orphanage in 1983 was what had inspired a young Nasar studying at an orphanage-run school to dream of becoming a collector. “I was the youngest of six children. When my father died, mother Manjumma struggled to raise us. So, I was sent to an orphanage at the age of five. When I was an upper primary school student at the orphanage-run school at Thalassery in 1982, then sub-collector Amitabh Kant had visited my school. Seeing the young IAS officer, I started to dream about becoming a collector,’’ recalls the 49-year-old.
A Kerala-cadre officer, Kant is now the CEO of Niti Aayog.
After finishing studies at school, Nasar pursued his graduation and post-graduation in English literature, but as his family’s burden weighed him down, he left his desire for higher studies to join a short-term course to become a health inspector. But, “after becoming a health inspector, I did not abandon my dream. I was not ready to settle with a job. I continued to apply for various competitive exams,” he said.
In 1994, when the Kerala Public Services Commission notified vacancies for the post of deputy collector, Nasar decided to give it a shot. “Even as a health inspector, I found the time to prepare for the exam for (recruitment of) the deputy collector. I knew that once directly recruited as the deputy collector, one day I would get promoted as an IAS officer and my dream to become a collector would come true,’’ he said.
After several efforts, he was finally recruited as a deputy collector in 2006. And in October 2017, he was elevated as an IAS officer.
“I kept my dream alive even though I could settle with a normal job. I always kept in mind the thought that I have a social responsibility towards society… I found support and strength from my family and my colleagues,’’ he said.