Govind Jaiswal – An Example of Empowerment through Education

His father, a rickshaw vendor, toiled hard, sold off land so that the son can get education. Complementing his father’s struggle and dream, Govind ranked 48th in Civil Service Examination, 2006 – among 474 candidates.


Govind is son of a rickshaw puller Narayan Jaiswal from Varanasi. He cleared the IAS examination in 2006; thus setting an example of empowerment through education. His father has toiled for the past 30 years to educate his son with a dream in his eyes! When Govind got the news of clearing the Civil Services Exam, tears ran down his face and refused to stop. He waited till the tears dried up, and made that one phone call on which depended the hopes of his entire family.

He had grown up with cruel taunts like ‘however much you study, you will still be a rickshaw puller.’ He had studied with cotton stuffed in his ears to drown the noise of printing machines and generators near his house. He used to give Mathematics tuitions, to supplement the paltry sum; his father could afford to send him each month. Throughout his life, he had lived with only one dream — to become an officer of the Indian Administrative Service. When he broke the news to his family, that he was ranked 48 among 474 successful candidates in his first attempt at the exam — it was the turn of his three sisters and father to weep with unbridled joy.

“You must understand that my circumstances were such that besides the Civil Services, I had no option. I didn’t have much of a chance with lower government jobs because they are mostly fixed, neither could I start a business because I had no money. The only thing I could do was work hard at my studies” said Govind.

It was almost impossible for him to study in the one room, staying with his family. To add to his woes, was the power cut that extended between 10 and 14 hours every day. So in search of a quiet place to study, he briefly shared a friend’s room at the Banaras Hindu University. Since that did not help him much, he did what many civil services aspirants in northern India do — he moved to New Delhi.

Working for ten years at the government ration shop, his father Narayan earned a living by weighing goods at the store. One day when the shop shut down, he bought one rickshaw and hired it out. He added three more, and at one time was prosperous enough to own about 36 rickshaws. During this period of financial security Narayan was prudent enough to buy three small plots of land. But bad times soon befell the family. His wife passed away when Govind was in school. The next ten years brought acute hardship on the family. On his meager earnings, the uneducated rickshaw puller with a hearing disability continued the education of his children. The daughters were married after their graduation — Narayan sold two pieces of land for the weddings, the last plot was sold to achieve his Govind’s dream.

Narayan gave his son Rs 40,000 to prepare for his Civil Services exam in New Delhi, and pursue his childhood dream of becoming an IAS officer. For the next three years, he sent his son between Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000 every month, sometimes foregoing the expense of treating the septic wound in his foot that continues to nag him till today. Govind says his first priority is getting good treatment for his father’s wound. “I want to look after him, I don’t know if he will leave Varanasi but I will definitely move him out of this rented room, that we have lived for 35 years “he adds.

Beyond this year, his father could not have afforded to send him any more money. It was getting very tough for him. “I don’t know what he would have done if he didn’t make it to the IAS this year. My father could not sleep for 10 days before the results came,” says Govind’s eldest sister Nirmala.

Having lived his life in Varanasi, the holy city on the banks of the Ganga, Govind has given his home state Uttar Pradesh as his preferred state of posting. If he doesn’t get UP, he is open to being sent to any state in India.“Varanasi needs a tight administration. We are the agents of change and I as an administrator would like to look after the welfare of the common people.”

                    His hero is President A P J Abdul Kalam. Govind is reading the Hindi translation of the President’s best-selling book “Wings of Fire “In a time when the Indian bureaucracy is riddled with lack of accountability, corruption and mis governance Govind’s thoughts are fired by the idealism of youth. He insists his idealism will not be watered down in future years, that he will make his mark in society.

On 20 Dec 2013 Govind Jaiswal took over as Additional Commissioner,Sales tax ,Delhi Govt.