Ramu was selected for the IAS in the year 2012. And, as per his promise, he came back to his village on May 12, 2012, after finishing a long journey from being Ramu to becoming Ramesh Gorakh Gholap, IAS.
It was then that Ramu’s mother Vimal Gholap started selling bangles in nearby villages to support the family. And though Ramu’s left leg was affected by polio, he and his brother joined their mother in her little venture. Ramu and his brother would yell out loud, “Bangde ghya bangde (Buy bangles!),” and their mother would help the women try them on.
Ramu’s sincerity and dedication made him a star among his teachers. But, in the year 2005, when he was in Class 12 and his college model exams were going on, he got news of his father’s death. The bus fare from Barshi to Mahagaon was Rs.7 those days. And since he received a bus pass for the disabled, the fare for him was just Rs. 2. But Ramu did not even have that.
His neighbours helped him with the money and only then could Ramu go for the last rites of his father.
Ramu lived with his mother and brother in a small room provided by his aunt, who had got her two-room home through a government scheme called Indira Awas Yojna. He saw his mother making visit after visit to government offices to get a house for herself too under the same scheme, but she was turned away because her BPL (below poverty line) card wasn’t eligible.
Ramu was angry with the ration shop owner too, who sold kerosene in the black market instead of providing it to needy families like his.
He saw his mother and other widows being manipulated by an officer who collected money from them and made false promises to get them their pensions.
Ramu appeared for the UPSC exams in May 2010 but unfortunately didn’t make the cut.
On the same day, he announced in front of all the villagers that he was leaving the village and would come back only when he became a powerful officer.
And finally, this son of illiterate parents, who studied in a zilla parishad school and by correspondence with open universities, cleared the UPSC examination with an all-India rank of 287, without any coaching.
Ramesh Gholap is now posted in Jharkhand as Joint Secretary in the Energy Department
Ramesh Gholap has given more than 300 informational and motivational talks to youngsters aspiring to take the MPSC or UPSC exams. He is also fulfilling his dream of helping the poor and distressed through his work.