Going was tough, but they were tougher

Safa Nazarudeen

Safa Nazarudeen  

A visually impaired PhD scholar at the Institute of English, Karyavattom, he appeared for the Civil Services Preliminary examination as a kind of practice. But as fate would have it, Gokul S. passed the Prelims in 2019 itself, and then the mains and the interview, securing the 804th rank in the examinations.

An alumnus of Viswadeepthi English Medium School, Kattakada, and Mar Ivanios College where he studied BA and MA in English Literature, Gokul started looking up the Civil Service papers to brush up on his public speaking skills. But soon, he was giving a serious thought to the exams. He was reading various publications, and was a regular reader of The Hindu. “My Civil Services preparations evolved with me,” says Gokul.

His Prelims were not long after his postgraduate exams. He had also won a junior research fellowship, and the Mains coincided with the presentation of his synopsis in front of the doctoral committee. All this did not faze Gokul much, especially as his department was very supportive.


He did not enrol for any coaching for the Mains, though he did attend the mock interviews for the interview stage. Gokul, who does not rely on Braille much and has been using a screen reader for his studies, says he believes if one sets out to achieve something, solutions will emerge. “If I want to prove that I’m not different from anyone, I have to step up my game.”

Gokul, the only child of Suresh Kumar G.O., an employee of the NCC Directorate, and Sobha Kumari K.K., a teacher at Cotton Hill school, wants to pursue a career in the IAS. He is yet to receive the service allocation, but if it is not what he has his heart set on, he might give the Civil Services Examination another try.

Safna Nazarudeen, 23, who studied Humanities at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pangode, and completed her undergraduation in Economics from Mar Ivanios College, Nalanchira, toyed with the idea of pursuing her postgraduation but decided to pursue her dream of Civil Services. It was a risky choice, but she went ahead. Why not start young, thought Safna.

She enrolled for the Civil Services coaching and appeared for the Preliminary examinations in 2019. Then came the Mains, and the interview. Safna secured 45th rank in the exams in her first attempt. It was not easy, says Safna. There is a fair bit of tension involved during the preparations, but if aspirants are disciplined and consistent, then it is achievable.

Daughter of retired sub-inspector Haja Nazarudeen and Kattakada employment exchange typist Remla A.N., Safna says she had a lot of support from her mentors at the coaching institute. “My parents were there to instil confidence; and my teachers, especially Premlatha Bhatt. A lot of people helped me and that is why I could crack the exams.”

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 2:31:25 AM |

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