Sreedhanya Suresh from Wayanad became the first from indigenous tribal groups from Kerala to be selected for the prestigious Civil Services. Sreedhanya bagged the 410th rank in the Civil Services Examination, 2018, the results of which were announced Friday. Kanishak Kataria, a B.Tech from IIT Bombay, topped the Civil Services final examination 2018, while Srushti Jayant Deshmukh is the topper among women candidates securing an overall fifth rank.
"I am excited , but a bit disappointed. I expected to do even better. I am a self-motivated person.", Sreedhanya told NDTV with a broad smile.
"My biggest challenge was my financial constraints. My parents are daily wagers and their only source of income was Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme. Government schemes have played a crucial role in helping me in my journey till here."
"I wanted to join the services after I met the previous sub collector of Wayanad Samba Siva Rao. I was working on a project under him. There are other IAS who helped me in my journey by funding me, helping me in interviews and preparations. But the backbone of my success has been the Fortune IAS Academy in Thiruvananthapuram", Sreedhanya added.
She is the daughter of daily wage labourers Suresh and Kamala, who belong to the Kurichiya tribe.
"Our happiness is sky high... We stretched to the maximum to ensure that she studies well. We ensured that nothing becomes a barrier for her studies and now her hard work has been rewarded," Sreedhanya's mother Kamala was quoted by IANS.
Sreedhanya graduated in B.Sc. in Zoology from Devagiri St Joseph's College in Kozhikode, and completed her Post Graduation in Applied Zoology at the University of Calicut.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Kerala Governor P. Sathasivam and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan were among many others who congratulated her for the achievement.
In a tweet, Mr Gandhi, who is also a Congress candidate for upcoming Lok Sabha elections from Sreedhanya' native place Wayanad, said, "Sreedhanya's hard work & dedication have helped make her dream come true. I congratulate Sreedhanya and her family and wish her great success in her chosen career."
In a Facebook post, Mr Pinarayi Vijayan said, "Sreedhanya fought social backwardness and passed the civil services exam with flying colours. Her achievement will inspire other students in the future."
Sreedhanya hopes to reduce the dropout level among tribal students. She also wants to work on other issues such as land rights, women's safety, problems of unwed mothers but says that she wouldn't focus only on one community and will work for all communities.
In total, twenty-nine Keralites have cleared the civil services examination.
In a statement, the UPSC said a total of 759 candidates (577 men and 182 women) have been recommended by the Commission for appointment to various services like IAS, IPS, IFS etc.
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