UPSC IAS 2022: Success Story of Sreedhanya Suresh; Kerala's First Tribal Woman To Clear UPSC Civil Services Exam

In the article below, know about the UPSC success story of IAS Sreedhanya Suresh, the first tribal woman of Kerala to become an IAS officer. Know her struggles and strategy below. 

IAS Sreedhanya Suresh's Success Story
IAS Sreedhanya Suresh's Success Story

India is famous for its vibrant culture and many religions. Do you remember various categories of students who were in your class when you studied in school? Indian Government has worked from time to time for the upliftment of the tribals and the result is now visible.

Today, not only do tribals study, dress well, and send their children to schools, but also appear in the Civil Services exam to clear it and become IAS officers. No matter how backward various tribes were at the time of Independence, today they are educated and take part in national development. Here is the success story of Sreedhanya Suresh, the first-ever tribal woman from Kerala to become an IAS officer through the UPSC Civil Services Exam. 

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IAS Sreedhanya Suresh’s UPSC Success Story:

Shreedhanya Suresh's father was daily wage labour. Her family was based in Waynad's small village, Pojuthana. This is one of the most backward areas of Kerala. Sreedhanya did not have access to basic amenities since her childhood due to the financial constraints of her family. She had three brothers and sisters. The family used to sell bows and arrows in the local market to make ends meet. 

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Sreedhanya's father, though used to earn less, did not stop her from studying. In fact, he made sure all his children got a basic education in the village and became literate. Sreedhanya studied without any breaks in her education. She completed her 10th and 12th standard education from Waynad itself. Later she was sent to graduate in Zoology from St. Joseph’s College in Kozhikode in Calicut.

She applied for post-graduation in Applied Zoology from Calicut University and passed it with flying colours. 

Her interests shifted to the UPSC Civil Services exam later during her college days. But she needed a job before that, so she started working as a clerk in the Scheduled Caste and Tribe Development Department of the Kerala Government. She also took the charge of the warden of the Tribal Hostel for women in Waynad. 

IAS Sreedhanya Suresh: Struggles During UPSC 2018 Attempt

Sreedhanya during her time at her job met IAS officer Sreeram Rao who motivated her to join Civil Services. She was inspired by the way his life was at that time and decided to give UPSC CSE a serious attempt. 

Sreedhanya joined the coaching classes offered by Scheduled Tribe Department. She did not succeed in her first two attempts but did not leave hope. In 2018, she cracked the UPSC Civil Services Exam Prelims and Mains. However, her problems did not end there. 

She did not have any money to attempt the UPSC interview. 

Sreedhanya was blessed with good friends in her life. At the time of the UPSC interview, her family could not manage to book any train tickets for her to go to Delhi. However, her friends collected INR 40,000 for her and sent her to stay in Delhi and appear for the IAS interview. 

Sreedhanya's hard work paid off that time and she cleared the UPSC CSE interview. She secured AIR 410 that year and became the first tribal woman in Kerala to clear the UPSC Civil Services exam. 

She was delighted to take up the charge of Kozhikode District Collector Sreeram Sambasiva. She said to a news agency, "It is a great responsibility to take charge during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will allow me to understand and learn the administrative field more deeply."


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