K Jayaganesh

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Awe Inspiring story from waiter to an IAS Officer

If you don't succeed the first time, try, try and try again
• K Jayaganesh's story is similar. He failed the civil service examination six times but never lost heart. The seventh time -- his last chance -- he passed with a rank of 156 and has been selected for the Indian Administrative Service.

• Jayaganesh's story is inspiring not because he did not lose heart but also because he comes from a very poor background in a village in Tamil Nadu, and though he studied to be an engineer, he worked at odd jobs, even as a waiter for a short while, to realise his dream of becoming an IAS officer

500 as salary and he had to take care of the education of four children and run the family.Childhood in a remote village  I was born and brought up in a small village called Vinavamangalam in Vellore district. Coming from a poor family. worked as a supervisor in a leather factory. which you know is very difficult.to get a job as fast as I could and help my father in running the family. My mother was a housewife. . I had only one ambition in life -.  I was quite good at studies and always stood first. My father got Rs 4. I studied up to the 8th standard in the village school and completed my schooling in a nearby town. I am the eldest in the family and have two sisters and a brother. My father Krishnan. who had studied up to the tenth standard.

my ambition was still to get a job.Childhood in a remote village • So. • Even while doing engineering. I joined a polytechnic college because I was told I would get a job the moment I passed out from there. and many did not even complete school. so he knew the value of education. there was a chance for me to get entry to a government engineering college on merit. My father supported my desire to study further. So I decided to join the Thanthai Periyar Government Engineering College to study mechanical engineering. • I understood the importance of education because of my parents. When I passed out with 91 per cent. I was the only one among my friends who went to college. you will understand why I didn't have any big ambitions. Most of my friends in the village had studied only up to the 10th standard. My father was the only one in his family to have completed school. If you look at my background. They worked as auto drivers or coolies or masons. My parents saw to it that we children studied well . after my 10th standard.

I wondered sadly why none of them studied and worked in good companies.In search of a job • Four days after I completed my engineering in 2000. there was no one in my village to guide the young generation. Because they had no education. There was no opportunity there. I went to Bangalore in search of a job and I one without much difficulty. the only place they could work was the tannery in the nearby town. In short. • It was in Bangalore that I started thinking about my village and my friends. they worked as auto drivers or coolies. There was not enough money to buy even proper food.500 at a company that reconditioned tools. • I thought would I be able to help my villagers in any way? . they always remained poor. If they didn't get work at the tannery. My salary was Rs 2.

I came to know that a collector in a small place could do a lot. I never thought resigning was risky because I had the confidence and knew I would do well. I decided that I wanted to be an IAS officer.500 and he gave me that money to buy study material. I sat in my village and studied from the notes I received by post from Chennai . • My father also supported me wholeheartedly. He had just got a bonus of Rs 6. • I resigned and went home to prepare for the examination. At that moment.Getting interested in the civil service examination • Till then. I had not even heard of something called the civil services examination. It was only after I went to Bangalore and saw the world that I was exposed to many things.

He told me that if I took sociology as an option. I started reading newspapers only after I started preparing for the examination! So you can imagine from what kind of background I came from. I knew why I was failing. I failed in the third attempt. • I had taken mechanical engineering as my main subject. That's when I met Uma Surya in Vellore. I had no idea how to prepare for the exam. • Even with sociology as the main subject. But I was not disappointed. There was nobody to guide me. it would be easy. . I didn't have proper guidance. I could not even clear the preliminary examination.Failed attempts • In my first two attempts. He was also preparing for the examination. what subjects to opt for and how to study.

We were given accommodation and training. After that. We were given free accommodation and food only till we wrote the main examination. I didn't want to go back to the village but staying in Chennai also was expensive.To Chennai for coaching • When I came to know about the government coaching centre (external link) in Chennai. • Because I got tips from those who passed out. I wrote the entrance examination and was selected. I passed the preliminary in my fourth attempt. we had to move out. • I tried to get a job as an engineer but my efforts turned futile. I then decided to look for a part time job so that I would have time to study .

a mechanical engineer. . It never bothered me that I. preparing for the civil services. had to work as a server.to stay on in Chennai to pass the examination. I also worked as the server during the interval. I had only one aim -.Working as a waiter in Chennai • I got a job as a billing clerk for computer billing in the canteen at Sathyam Cinemas.

I failed in the interview. As counselling was my hobby. I was called for the interview. .Attending the interview in Delhi • After I got the job at the Sathyam Cinemas. Perhaps I did not articulate well. a lot of questions were asked about counselling. I was not very fluent in English but I managed to convey whatever I wanted to.

the 5th time • Once again. • I quit the job and joined a private firm to teach sociology to those preparing for the UPSC examinations. I felt I did not concentrate on studies as I was working at Sathyam Cinemas.Preliminary again. I failed in the preliminary itself. I started from the beginning. I taught sociology. On analysis. Surprisingly. Many friends of mine in Chennai helped me both financially and otherwise while I prepared for the examination. While I learnt the other subjects there. .

I felt if I joined the IB. I decided not to join and started preparing for one last time. once again. . • While preparing for the interview. So. I had written an examination to be an officer with the Intelligence Bureau and I was selected. I was in a dilemma whether to accept the job. my preparation to be an IAS officer would get affected.Sixth attempt • I passed both the preliminary and the main in the sixth attempt but failed at the interview stage.

I decided to take the last chance and write the examination. I was asked about Tamil Nadu. I was upset since I did not wish the interviewers at the start and they did not respond when I said thanks at the end. . the link between politics and Tamil cinema etc. Both the incidents went on playing in my mind. Kamaraj.Last attempt • I had to give the last preliminary just a few days after the previous interview. • The interview was in April. Finally. 2008 at Delhi. Like I had hoped. I passed both the preliminary and the main. Tamil as a classical language. I just prayed to God and walked back. Periyar. I was confused and scared.

• I went to a playground and sat there meditating for a while. please let me pass if you feel I am worthy of it. I started thinking what I should do if I passed and what I should do if I didn't. • I had only one dream for the last seven years and that was to be an IAS officer. Then.The day the results were out • I was extremely tense that day. I used to tell God. I would know whether my dreams would be realised or not. .

I felt free and relieved. It's a top rank and I am sure to get into the IAS.156th rank • Finally when the results came. • I felt like I had a won a war that had been going on for many years. I couldn't believe myself. • The first thing I did was call my friends in Chennai and then my parents to convey the good news . I had secured the 156th rank out of more than 700 selected candidates.

They garlanded me. All my friends. That was when I saw unity among my villagers.Warm welcome in the village • The reception I got in my village was unbelievable. were waiting for me when I alighted from the bus. burst crackers. and the entire village. The entire village came to my house to wish me. played music and took me around the village on their shoulders. It was a defining moment for me .

Education is the best tool to eradicate poverty. . I want to try hard to eradicate poverty and spread the message of education to all people.What I want to do • I worked really hard without losing faith in myself to realize my dream. My real work starts now. I want Tamil Nadu.

Jayaganesh did not hesitate to work as a waiter in spite of being a mech.What we learn from Jayaganesh • 1) not to lose hope. • These are my learning's please add your learning's in the comment column below .Any ordinary person would have grabbed the chance to become the IB officer after the 5th attempt but Jayaganesh wanted to be a civil servant. engineer in his quest for the final goal. • 2) Tremendous self belief. • 3) Passion.After failing five times he still sat for the exam the sixth time.

After six-seven years. Then he thought of operating a helicopter to connect remote places. He again convinced the same Japanese MD to lend one helicopter and started the aviation firm. He bought his relatives land with his PF money as down payment. Nobody was willing to finance him till he convinced a Japanese lease company to finance a helicopter. His name if you have not guessed it is Captain Gopinath.founder of Air Deccan. He was shocked to know that this pilot friend has taken the job as a security in charge. The Japanese company backtracked when Vajpayee government fell after 13 days. He opened a silkworm farming with great financial and physical difficulties and made it a success. He was playing squash with a fellow friend who was unemployed and was a pilot.• If he can do it . . why can't we. He gets admission into a new military school just opened nearby and went into the army. If he can do it why can't we : Imagine a person from rural Karnataka walking bare foot to school. The land allotted as compensation is barren and several miles away. And thus followed his dream of connecting remote places and enabling common man to fly. he felt constrained. Every success in whatever field starts from a few hundred grams of mass sitting on our shoulders called mind. It is like a muscle use it or it will wither. quit and with PF of Rs 6000 came back to the village to find the whole village submerged because of the dam being built. The Asian currency melt down had a lot of helicopters idle/grounded in Malaysia.