Call me Shaikh and not Shubham any more: 21-year-old IAS topper

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His all-India ranking is 361, but he too cracked the UPSC exam in his first attempt, but this is not what makes his achievement noteworthy.

21-year-old Ansar Ahamad Shaikh, who cracked UPSC at his first attempt ranking 361 congratulated his tutor Rahul Tukaram Pandve who also cleared the UPSC with rank 200. Express photo By Sandeep Daundkar,Pune,10.05.2016
21-year-old Ansar Ahamad Shaikh, who cracked UPSC at his first attempt ranking 361 congratulated his tutor Rahul Tukaram Pandve who also cleared the UPSC with rank 200. Indian Express photo By Sandeep Daundkar,Pune,10.05.2016

This 21-year-old boy has an even more gripping story hidden behind what’s anyway considered to be a phenomenal achievement.

Up until now, he was known to his friends and landlord as Shubham. But soon after cracking the IAS exam, Shubham of the past wants to be ‘proudly’ known as Ansar Ahmad Shaikh.

As reported by Indian Express, Shaikh, the son of an autorickshaw driver from Jalna’s Shedgaon village, fought all odds and managed to crack the tough UPSC exam in his first attempt.

The Bachelor of Arts, political science graduate from Pune’s Fergusson College said he came to the city to pursue his degree in Arts and focus on his UPSC preparations.

He was forced to change his name to a Hindu surname in order to get accommodation and food in the city without facing any discrimination.

Shaikh said he will proudly say his real name now. “I remember when I went to look for a PG accommodation, my friends who were Hindus got rooms but I was refused. So the next time, I said that my name was Shubham, which was actually my friend’s name. Now I don’t have to hide my real name.”

Speaking to the IE and remembering his tough days, Shaikh’s eyes swells with tears.

“My father has three wives, my mom is the second. In my family, education wasn’t so important. My younger brother dropped out of school and my two sisters were married off at an early age and didn’t study much. When I called home and told them that I cracked UPSC and in all likelihood will be an IAS officer, they were shell shocked,” said Shaikh, adding after a small celebration with friends, he is headed home for a bigger celebration.

Shaikh says he’s been a topper all throughout school and college except Std X where his scores were slightly low.

Talking about his preparation for the UPSC, Shaikh said he prepared for 10-12 hours at a stretch for 3 years without a break.

He said, “I think I would tell students to question themselves, Why do they want to be in the system? Once they have answered this question, the path will get clear.”

Having been a victim of religious discrimination himself, Shaikh has now vowed to promote Hindu-Muslim unity and bridging disparity as a future IAS officer.

(Photo: Indian Express)

 

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