M’rashtra youth triumphs odds to crack civil services

New Delhi, Sep 25 (PTI): Covid almost shattered his dream, making him so weak he thought he wouldn’t survive. On Saturday, a day after he cracked the civil services, Aditya Jiwane said thank you to his parents for making him think big and to bureaucrats from his home state Maharashtra who handheld him through multiple crises in a new city.
Jiwane, 25, was ranked 399 in the civil services results announced on Friday. He is confident he will find a place in the elite Indian Administrative Service, and also triumphant that he had overcome many odds.
Civil services is the dreams my parents saw for me, Jiwane, a mechanical engineer from Yashwantrao College of Engineering, Nagpur, told PTI.
As I grew, their dreams became mine, added the son of teacher parents. While his father lectures in a local college in Warora in Chandrapur, his mother teaches in a zilla parishad school there. That dream almost didn’t happen, he said.
It was April, the second wave was raging through the national capital and Jiwane, who had decided to move to Delhi in January for his Mains exam in January after appearing for his Prelims in Nagpur, was alone.
Jiwane, who had made two unsuccessful attempts at the exams, was preparing for the interview the last step in the gruelling three-stage examination process of one of the most-sought after exams in the country when he too was struck by Covid.
Hospitals were overwhelmed and Jiwane was one of the many struggling to find a bed in a city where the health infrastructure had been crippled by the high number of cases. His high resolution CT (HRCT) score of the chest was 18, indicating that the situation was indeed perilous.
He was alone with high fever in his room in Mukherjee Nagar the civil services hub in northwest Delhi and thought he wouldn’t make it for the interview, then scheduled in May.
Jiwane said he somehow managed an oxygen cylinder for himself. That started emptying rapidly and he knew he needed hospitalisation. But that was easier said than done.
He then sent an SOS message on different WhatsApp groups. Civil servants from his state, posted in different parts of the country, spotted the message and chipped in.
His condition was really critical. We got in touch with his parents and other officers posted in Delhi so that he can get immediate help. His parents also had to be comforted as they were really worried, said Deputy Commissioner (Customs), Nitish Pathode, an Indian Revenue Service officer currently posted at the Mumbai airport.
We could manage a bed, but then it was without an oxygen, Pathode told PTI.
Swagat Patil, a DANIPS (Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Police Service) officer and an assistant commissioner with Delhi Police helped him get a bed in Burari.
On April 24, Jiwane was admitted in hospital.
His accommodation (in Mukherjee Nagar) was on the first floor. But due to this deteriorating condition, it took him nearly 30 minutes to come to the ground floor, Patil said.
Anand Patil, an IAS officer of the Tamil Nadu cadre, too pitched in with logistics.
He continued to remain critical even after hospitalisation, Pathode said.
He was discharged on April 30. Luckily for him, UPSC postponed the interview scheduled for May 11 till August.
Things soon began to fall into place. Though Covid had extracted a huge toll, Jiwane resumed his preparations by June end.
A total of 761 candidates — 545 men and 216 women — have cleared the test, conducted annually to select the country’s bureaucrats, diplomats and police officers, among other civil servants.
After what Jiwane endured, it was his positivity that helped him recover and achieve his goal, Patil said.
In the end, all the efforts taken seem to be worth it, Jiwane added, happy and relieved it was finally over.
The dream had been realised.

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