Son of an illiterate daily wage earner, 26-year-old Satheesh V Menon has little to fall back on, but immense grit to forge ahead.
Without an internet connection at this rented house, any mentor to guide him or any coaching class to take tips from, Menon has bagged in his third attempt the 432nd rank in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam, results of which was announced Saturday.
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A native of Udayamperur village in Kerala’s Ernakulam district, Menon completed his post-graduation in Physics in 2012.
He gave tuitions to high school students to fund his studies and support his family, which comprises his father, his mother, a home maker and elder sister, a school teacher.
“After higher secondary, I wanted to pursue engineering. But financial constraints at home forced me to abandon that dream. I joined a degree course in Physics and later completed post-graduation in the same subject,” said Menon.
He added that he has been giving science tuitions to school students for the past eight years.
“I have been earning Rs 10,000 a month from tuitions. A part of it was used to run the family as father does not get work every day. The rest was used for my civil service preparations’’ he said.
At his rented house, there was no internet connection or daily supply of English dailies or periodicals, said Menon.
“Lack of internet connectivity was a problem. I depended on cyber cafes. Once in two weeks, I would go to a public library in Ernakulam to get the required books. I prepared for the civil services exam without attending any coaching class,” he said.
Menon added that while he was preparing for the civil services exam, he was selected for three clerical posts in Kerala.
“My family wanted me to be employed so that I could take up more responsibility, but they supported my decision to not take up these jobs and keep trying to crack the civil services,” he said.
He added that his dream was to enter Indian Foreign Service. “With a rank of 432, I may get into IPS or IRS. I am planning to sit for the UPSC exam again to get my dream job,’’ he said.