Govind Jaiswal : Rickshaw Pullers Son Makes it to the Indian Administrative Service

A first for rickshaw puller Narayan- has Govind Jaiswal, IAS as a passenger. Incidentally Govnd is Naryan’s son. A proud moment indeed for the father! Photo Courtesy: Shri Govind Jaiswal

On the potholed streets of Varanasi a father from dawn to dusk would ply a cycle rickshaw, and while puffing on the pedals, would dream of his son making it to the elite Indian Administrative Service. This thought would make the toil and the burden seem a bit lighter.

But dreams to reality are never easy, and Narayan Jaiswal knew it and so did his son Govind. Seven members of the family in one rented room, meagre family income, 14 hour power cuts, din from factories nearby and most damaging the taunts “Son of a rickshaw puller always a rickshaw puller” - all this does not add up to a rank in the Indian Civil Service exam.

But the father and son duo fought a lonely battle, a battle they wished to win.Govind had always been a star student- focused and methodical and a class topper. Narayan ensured that he toiled to keep his four children including Govind provided for. Even when he had septic in his feet, he plied his rickshaw - each rupee counted.

Govind graduated, from Benaras Hindu University and padded up to take on the Civil Service Exam. The task was daunting, his competition was with 3 lakh candidates who every year vie for 400 seats in the Indian Administrative Service. The probability for success was 0.0013.Govind was pitted against the best and the brightest in the country.

Narayan was ready to pool in the last bit of resources for his son that meant the only small piece of land that he owned had to be sold and Rs. 40000 given to Govind to take IAS coaching in Delhi. Narayan’s medical treatment could wait. To supplement, Govind would do tuitions. Govind knew he had to clear in the first attempt, the funds were sufficient for a year at the most.

And so started the single minded pursuit- the gates of the IAS training academy at Mussourie beckoned. The exams and interview went off well, but who knows others might have done better- after all it is not about passing, it is about being in the merit list. When the results of the 2006 batch of the civil service exam was expected Narayan did not sleep for ten days.

And when the results came, Govind was ranked an incredible 48th amongst 450 candidates who were selected. The news took time to sink in, the tears of relief took time to dry and then Govind made that one defining call to his father – We have done it!

Govind gives credit to his family, to his father and to his eldest sister who gave up her studies to look after the family after their mother died.

Amongst Govind’s first postings was as Additional Deputy Commissioner of Zunheboto District, Nagaland. Zunheboto is derived from Naga word ‘Zunhebo’ a flower growing on ‘ato’, hilltop. Does this not characterize Govind Jaiswal substantially? Only that the climb to the top in Govind’s case was rather steep.

Govind is presently Additional Commissioner, Sales Tax in Delhi Government.

  1. Arya

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