The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fighting odds, dreams come true
- Failed in first attempt, son of havildar cracks civil services with elan

Patna, May 17: His father would often joke that he had “reserved” his best salutes for his son, if and when he becomes an IPS officer.

“My father, a former constable, always wanted me to be an IPS officer. I pursued his dream and tried to create a sound academic record and with a burning passion to make him proud I finally did it in my second attempt,” says Sujit with a hint of pride in his voice.

Sujit Kumar Singh, the son of former Bihar Military Police (V) havildar Bhagwan Singh, had to cut his conversation short, as he had to leave with his father for an interview with a news channel. But the rank-holder (132) deserved every iota of the attention that he has been getting.

Sujit made it to the civil services amid all proverbial and literal odds. He had to do with a limited sum that his father gave from his paltry salary, he sat for the examination in Hindi and had an odd (read “with little success rate”) combination of history and geography as his optional papers.

But when he missed success by a whisker — by five marks — in his first attempt, Sujit knew that he was close.

Hailing from Sasaram, Sujit completed his high school from his maternal uncles’ place, Maner and secured 80 per cent in intermediate from Patna College.

After completing his graduation in history (Hons) from Hindu College, Delhi, he took his first shot at the civil services in 2004. When he failed in his first attempt, he took a year’s sabbatical to get better.

Naturally, his father — a former havildar — was ecstatic and at a loss for words. “Sapna poora ho gaya (my dream has come true),” was all that he could manage. But Singh senior is not the only one. There are some other fathers, who are equally proud of their sons.

Sanjay Kumar Singh, son of Daddan Kumar Singh, head clerk Rom Pega village of Bhojpur, secured 42nd rank and made it to the Indian Administrative Service. Daddan, now posted in the Sasaram sessions court, sent his son Sanjay for his higher education in Patna and Delhi after his initial schooling at Sasaram.

Sanjay did serve as the second officer in the Merchant Navy for three years, but resigned to prepare for the civil services. Sanjay, (30), would have rued quitting the Merchant Navy, as he failed to qualify thrice, but he fought on to create his niche in the examinations.

For both Sujit and Sanjay, New Delhi proved lucky. “At Delhi, one knows exactly what one is capable of,” said Sanjay.

For Syed Waquar Raza of Begusarai, when the going got rough he became better. A student of St Paul School in Barauni Refinery Raza was a bright student who cruised into the Joint Entrance Examination and later to IIT-Guwahati in 1999. Raza completed his engineering in electronic and communication in 2003 and the same year he qualified for the preliminary test of the Union Public Service Commission. But he made no further in his first attempt.

But in 2006 he grabbed the 121 rank in the IPS.

However, experts believe that civil services coaching centres at Patna do not have much to boast of. Deepak Kumar, a functionary at Meridien Courses, said: “Though several Bihar students make it to the civil services, almost all of them prepare from Delhi.” Kumar added that Patna coaching centres have become a connecting link to its sister concerns in Delhi to improve the facilities.

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