From November to March every year, civil services aspirants make a beeline to Gopalakrishnan’s house to occupy every bit of space available in the backyard to attend his free training programme

The spacious independent house of former IAS officer Mamidipudi Gopalakrishnan at Avanthi Nagar, Basheerbagh, looks calm and serene these days. Just a couple of months ago, the house of the ex-civil servant was buzzing with activity.

From November to March every year, civil services aspirants make a beeline to Gopalakrishnan’s house to occupy every bit of space available beneath the trees in the backyard to attend the free training programme conducted by him.

“I always felt bad when not many candidates from AP failed to clear the civils, and I thought I should do my bit to help as many candidates as possible,” says the 1954 batch officer.

He has been conducting the free training programme for aspirants at his house for close to 30 years. The session is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and many a time beyond schedule, too.

Gopalakrishnan’s training is special as he shares his experiences and knowledge with the candidates. It’s not just a mere classroom session as he helps in many aspects, including the do’s and don’ts during interviews and body language skills, points out Varun Koundiya, the 298 rank holder. “Many civil services aspirants in the city are aware of his free training programme. I came to know through my friend and attended the programme. It was very helpful,” says K. Sricharan, the 734 ranker this year.

Gopalkrishnan used to give free advice to anyone going to him even during his time in service, and ever since he retired in 1990, the training programme has become more organised as he has time to ‘train’ more youngsters.

Incidentally, he turned his garage into a library.

“Having worked at the National Academy of Administration for over six years, I trained many candidates. My goal is to help candidates clear interviews and improve their performance in written exams as well,” he says.

At 82, Gopalakrishnan defies his age and walks five to six km daily to stay fit. “I want to conduct this free training programme till my last breath,” says the popular tutor.

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