1. Home
  2. News

Meet Aruna M, A Debt Ridden Farmer's Daughter Who Cleared Her UPSC Exam In Her 6th Attempt

Aruna M of Karnataka took the civil service exam despite being infected with Covid-19. The UPSC results, on the other hand, restored her enthusiasm, as she passed the coveted exam on her sixth attempt with an All India Rank of 308.

Chintu Das
Aruna M
Aruna M

Aruna M of Karnataka took the civil service exam despite being infected with Covid-19. The UPSC results, on the other hand, restored her enthusiasm, as she passed the coveted exam on her sixth attempt with an All India Rank of 308.

Aruna, a resident of Tumkur's Tadakaluru village, has had difficult life due to several setbacks in her academic life. She lived with her grandmother in a rundown house with no power as a child because it was close to her school.

"When I was in school, I was completely unaware of the situation. Lack of electricity, studying by candlelight and living in a house prone to leaks when it rains were not issues for me until I moved to Tumkur to pursue my higher education. "I knew I needed to find a career that would allow me to upgrade my lifestyle financially," the 32-year-old adds.

Life, on the other hand, had other ideas for her. Her father Mahalingappa, a silk farmer who committed suicide due to debts in 2009, was a watershed moment in her life.

"The death of my father was a wake-up call for me." He wanted his children to go to medical school, so he took out loans to help them. Unfortunately, because of poor market demand in 2009, he did not receive a good silk harvest. When his income dried up and his debts piled up, he had no choice but to take drastic measures. This is when things started to change for me. 

"I became more aware of the agrarian issue that was affecting the livelihoods of many farmers, and I wanted to contribute to helping bring about reforms," says Aruna, who worked as a software engineer for two years before beginning to study for civil service exams in 2016.

The UPSC journey, on the other hand, was not without its difficulties. Aruna took the civil service examinations five times but did not qualify. She also notes that her mother had to deal with a lot of questions regarding her daughter's marriage from the locals, who 'pierced her heart' with their questions. "All of these social constraints pushed me to work harder toward my goal."

She and her friends started an IAS academy in Bengaluru named after Aruna two months ago. The academy educates students from rural areas who are Kannada medium students and children of farmers for public service examination. "After my final UPSC attempt, I founded this academy." If I couldn't clear this time, I figured I could at least please myself by training other students like me who wanted to work in the civil service.

But I'm delighted as both worked for me. "The academy is a result of my lost dreams as a result of Covid-19, which hurt my performance," explains Aruna, who was hospitalized during the UPSC exams and had to write her tests in isolation. "Despite the doctor's cautions, I was released from the hospital." It's difficult to write an examination while suffering from Covid. I became disoriented at times and even passed out. My writing suffered as a result," she adds.

"It is extremely easy to lose faith after suffering setbacks in repeated tries, but it is very tough to start from scratch and prepare all over again," Aruna says when asked what she hopes to achieve as a civil servant. However, coming from a place with little bus network and a lack of infrastructure, the development challenges kept me motivated to achieve my goal. I aspire to be the person who can bridge the gap between farmers and government assistance schemes.

“I want to take on the burden of providing a healthy yield for farmers by implementing effective policy changes, and I want to bring honor to agriculture,"  she added.

International No Diet Day 2024 Quiz Take a quiz
Share your comments
FactCheck in Agriculture Project

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters