How a Bangle-Seller Became an IAS Officer
- Pallavi Priya
- Published on 8 Aug 2020, 5:34 am IST
- 8 minutes read
Ramesh Golap, a 2012 batch Jharkhand cadre IAS officer had a very difficult childhood. He started his journey by selling bangles in the villages but now he is filling colours in the lives of underprivileged and enabling them dream big.
- Koderma DC Ramesh Gholap walking with Sapna Kumari. He admitted her in the school and bearing her education expenses
Difficulties in life can be turned into assets. It’s only by going through these painful experiences yourself that you are better equipped to understand, and empathise with, the difficulties faced by others. Nobody could know it better than Mr Ramesh Gholap, the 2012 batch IAS officer who started in life as a bangle seller.
Just like a bangle which reflects dazzling colours, Mr Gholap is doing something special. He is filling the drab, and often painful, lives of underprivileged children by adding colours to their existence. This IAS office has adopted many children, is bearing their education expenses and also working towards the abolition of child labour. He has already created a system through which around 50 children have been admitted in schools. They no longer have to work in restaurants or any such place. Those children might have to think hundred times even before having such dreams in life if ‘Collector Babu’ didn’t come in their life. Children’s hunger for education affects him a lot and that’s why he is always ready to help prospective and talented children.
Mr Ramesh Gholap’s efforts towards his duties has triggered a wave of happiness and gratitude in Kodermadistrict of Jharkhand. His efforts have returned the lives of many families. People in the district and nearby places call him ‘Pension Babu’. However, he is very humble about this. While talking to Indian Masterminds he said, “I am not doing anything great. I try to be emphatic towards the people who come to me for help and resolve their issues with whatever resources I have. I have seen a very bad phase and struggle a lot for each and every thing and I don’t want the same to happen with anybody.”
A 2012 batch Jharkhand cadre IAS officer, Mr Gholap hails from Mahagaon village Maharashtra. He is currently the DC of Koderma.Right from the beginning of his life,Mr Gholap faced financial and physical problems before tasting success. He has already set an example by passing the country’s most prestigious examination and proved that determination and hard work always pays off. But his journey was not an easy one. There were many dark stops in the middle. When Gholap was one and a half years old, polio struck his leg. His family was also not financially strong. His father used to run a cycle repair shop but he was an alcoholic. So the burden to run the family fell on his mother. She started selling bangles in nearby villages to support the family and educate her children. Ramesh and his brother also used to help her. Despite the polio, he would roam from one village to another to sell the bangles.
But even during these difficult times, a young Ramesh knew that education was the only way out from the rut of poverty. Therefore, the young boy started working hard in every sphere of life- including the process of getting right kind of education.
‘My Mother is my mentor’
Talking about his mother Gholap said, “She is a very strong lady. She finds positivity and hope even in the most unfavourable and difficult situation. I find her my inspiration and mentor. I think her presence in my life was the only thing that kept me going and fighting the odds. She started selling bangles to support our education and she continues to do so. She says these bangles helped me to become the officer so she will continue to sell it until her last breath.’’
Ramesh did his primary schooling from a school in his village. Later on he went to his maternal uncle to complete his 10th and 12th. With the support of teachers he scored 88.5% in the 12th board.Despite having good marks, he chose to do Diploma in Education, because it was the cheapest course and he wanted to get job as a teacher and support his family. He also pursued Bachelor of Arts from an open university simultaneously.
Ramesh recalls that before 12th exam his father died. This worsened the situation of their family. Her mother was alone and he wanted to support her in any possible way. This is the reason why he started painting posters and caricature on the walls of schools and other public places. His drawing and painting was good so he used to get decent amount of work.
After completing the diploma, he a teacher in 2009. This was huge for the family who was constantly struggling for every penny. However, Ramesh was not satisfied by this and wanted to do something big. He didn’t know about many profession but he did know that Collector is someone who gets everyone’s respect and can resolve problems of people. This motivated him to prepare for UPSC. In September 2009, he took the first step towards his dream. He used the loan that his mother had taken from a self-help group in his village and went to Pune to prepare for the UPSC exam. He didn’t know about MPSC and UPSC and had no money to take coaching classes either. So, he first consulted a teacher to know what this exam is all about and if he is eligible to appear in it. He appeared for the UPSC exams in May 2010 but could not make it in the first attempt.
In the meantime his mother also contested for the Sarpanch election but unfortunately couldn’t win. This didn’t demotivate him instead, gave him the strength to fight back. Ramesh decided that he will come back in his village only after becoming an officer.
At first, he left his job and cleared the State Institute of Administrative Careers (SIAC) exam which gave him a hostel to stay in and a stipend as scholarship. Finally in 2012 this son of illiterate parents cleared the UPSC examination with an all-India rank of 287, without any coaching.He was selected for IAS. Keeping his words he came back to village after this.
In his career of around eight years Ramesh has been appointed at many important position. He served as SDM in three district of Jharkhand. In 2015, Ramesh was given the additional charge as Director Horticulture. Prior to this, he was serving as Director Agriculture. He had also been posted as a joint secretary in Jharkhand’s Energy Department.
‘Pension Wale Saheb’
There is no doubt that the government also runs various schemes for the uplift of the underprivileged, but due to their not being properly implemented at the grassroots level, those schemes do not get the expected benefits. Mr Gholap is doing just that.In order to ensure that these schemes of the government reach out to the needy people, he has devised a transparent mechanism and process. He organizes JantaDarbar twice in a week. In that session, he tries to resolves problems related to Ration Card and Pension schemes.
As Mr Gholap recalls, ‘While serving in Koderma as DC, my team has managed to cancel 25000 fake ration cards and added the same number of needy families in the BPL category. In the public meeting, we assist the people with whatever help they need. It can be document related issue or birth certificate. We try to figure out solutions for them.”
Mentioning his mother’s struggle, he said he had seen her repeatedly walking around the government offices and paying bribes to the officials for her pension as also for getting a house under Indira Aawas Yojna.
“I don’t want any mother to suffer and struggles for money which is their right. So, when I was posted in Khunti as Sub-division officer I started a Pension Van to resolve there issue. The van moves around the district and tries to connect needy people in the respective program. In 48 hours, their files come to my desk and I sanction their pension accordingly,” says Mr Gholap. Recalling an incident he said, once I was coming from a school after an interaction with students. Suddenly I saw many people gathering outside the school. One of them told me they have come to see Pension wale babu. They haven’t seen me but they knew about me. This incident filled with satisfaction. “
It’s not yet full-circle for the former bangle seller, his young life full of pain and struggle. His aim is to ensure that nobody should go through what he has endured. This is what this IAS officer is working towards with dogged determination.
END OF THE ARTICLE
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