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From Kutcha House to Civil Service Success: Nilesh Ahirwar’s Inspirational UPSC Journey

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From Kutcha House to Civil Service Success: Nilesh Ahirwar’s Inspirational UPSC Journey

Highlights

  • Nilesh cracked UPSC CSE-23 with AIR 916
  • He faced severe financial constraints during his journey
  • His journey is an inspiration for everyone, proving that where there’s a will, there’s a way
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In the serene village of Isharpur, nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Narmadapuram in Madhya Pradesh, a tale of resilience and determination unfolds within the modest confines of a two-room kutcha house. Here, within the broken walls and tin-roofed shelter, Nilesh Ahirwar, against all odds, has etched his name in the annals of success by securing the 916th rank in the UPSC CSE-2023.

In the heart of this humble abode, where the scent of spices mingles with the aroma of ambition, Nilesh’s journey to UPSC success unfolds against a backdrop of perseverance and unwavering resolve. Here, in the makeshift study room that doubles as a kitchen, Nilesh immersed himself in his books for over 8 hours each day, undeterred by the sweltering heat and the cacophony of household chores. Nilesh’s story is not just one of personal triumph but also a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the transformative power of education.

T.I.N. interacted with Nilesh Ahirwar to know more about his journey.

Nilesh’s makeshift study room

JOURNEY SO FAR
In his first attempt at the UPSC CSE-2021, Nilesh could not even clear the Prelims. Similarly, in his second attempt in CSE-2022, he faced the same outcome, failing to pass the preliminary exam. Until then, he had been preparing in his village.

For his third attempt, he initially prepared in Bhopal before seeking guidance in Delhi for Mains preparation, where he spent two months. Additionally, he participated in mock interviews. Finally, in his third attempt, he successfully cleared the CSE-23, achieving the rank of 916.

He said, “My UPSC journey has been a roller coaster ride, marked by numerous ups and downs. Financial constraints posed significant challenges along the way. However, my family’s steadfast belief in the transformative power of education served as a guiding light. That inspiration continuously motivated us to persevere despite the obstacles.”

His mother

CHALLENGES AT HOME
Nilesh’s most significant challenges stemmed from financial constraints and his home situation. In the village, his family resides in a modest two-room kutcha house. The roof is composed of tin sheets, and the walls show signs of wear and tear. Improvised stairs made from sand-filled sacks lead to the house, while a basic toilet is situated almost 25 feet away.

Within the confines of their kitchen, which also functions as a study space, a study table and chair sit adjacent to the kerosene and gas stove. The table doubles as a repository for books, rendering the area more conducive to studying than cooking. Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s portrait and various slogans adorn the walls, reflecting their ideological beliefs. Nilesh devotes more than eight hours each day to studying in this room, while the other room accommodates sleeping arrangements for the rest of the family. Meanwhile, Nilesh’s younger brother, Harsh Ahirwar, pursues his studies in Bhopal.

Nilesh Ahirwar, UPSC CSE-2023, AIR 916

BACKGROUND
Born into a humble household, where his father Ram Das Ahirwar toils as a Raj Mishtry (mason), Nilesh’s journey to success was paved with challenges. Yet, amidst these obstacles, his parents, despite being illiterate themselves, instilled in him the value of education and unwaveringly supported his academic pursuits. His mother is a homemaker.

Nilesh’s achievement is being celebrated because he has surpassed the educational accomplishments of any member in his family lineage spanning seven generations.

His father is educated only up to the second grade. Neither his mother nor his grandmothers had the opportunity to attend school.

Nilesh attended school in his village up to the 8th standard. Following this, he pursued his 12th grade education at Tawanagar Model Higher Secondary School. Then, he did B. Tech in Agriculture from Mahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramodaya Vishwavidyalaya in 2020.

Nilesh’s Kutcha House

UPSC
The road to UPSC success was not without its hurdles for Nilesh. Enduring the financial strain, he embarked on his UPSC journey with determination and resilience. With sheer grit and relentless dedication, he dedicated himself to rigorous study sessions.

After completing his B.Tech, he began his preparation for the civil services examination at his home. He converted the kitchen into a makeshift study room. Enduring the sweltering heat under a tin roof and the emanating warmth from the stove and gas, Nilesh persisted in his studies. In his village, power outages were common during the scorching summer months, hindering his study efforts. Consequently, Nilesh attempted the Prelims in 2021 and 2022 but, unfortunately, did not succeed.

It was a friend, with whom Nilesh had connected on social media, who suggested relocating to Bhopal for better study prospects. Acting upon this advice, Nilesh moved to Bhopal in 2023, taking up a rented accommodation. He enrolled in coaching for one subject and successfully cleared the preliminary examination in May 2023. Then, he decided to pursue further coaching in Delhi for the Mains.

Spending three months in Delhi for coaching, he returned to his village to appear for the examination on 8 December, 2023. Subsequently, he went back to Delhi to prepare for the interview.

With his father

INTERVIEW
His interview went smoothly, with a wide range of questions covering various topics from his home state of Madhya Pradesh to current affairs. He faced several inquiries regarding agriculture, including discussions on the recent farm bills.

MESSAGE
Giving suggestions for aspirants, he said, “This journey is not easy. It requires consistency and unwavering focus on your goals.”

Nilesh also shared his perspective on education, stating, “Since childhood, my father has instilled in me the belief that education is a powerful instrument for social change, drawing inspiration from the remarkable lives of Dr. Ambedkar and Swami Vivekananda.”

FATHER’S REACTION
As Nilesh’s father beams with pride, reflecting on his son’s remarkable achievement, he underscores the pivotal role of education in transforming lives and breaking the shackles of poverty. His impassioned plea for prioritizing education echoes a universal truth – that investing in the future generation’s education is the surest path to societal progress and prosperity. He said, “Despite facing financial challenges, I took on additional contract work to prioritize my children’s education. Witnessing the support of those who believed in our child’s potential, I too felt compelled to ensure my child received a good education, thus fulfilling my dream.”

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