HYDERABAD: Even as 15 candidates from the city cracked the examinations for the country’s most coveted field — civil services —,the list of whom was released by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on Monday, their trainer, a woman who is physically challenged, has the last laugh.
Balalatha Mallavarapu, who lost her legs when she was 11-month-old, because of polio drops failure, has proved that passion and hard work can take one to greater heights, despite all odds. Balalatha, who herself cracked the civil service exams twice in 2004 and 2016, decided to become a trainer and mentor to civil service aspirants, and till date helped close to hundred aspirants to crack civil services examinations.
As a child, due to her disability, and as parents were keen on her treatment, she could not attend school.
Her father Mallavarapu Shouraiah, a journalist, gave her home tuition, which helped her to clear her SSC and Intermediate as a private candidate. Later she completed her graduation, through distance education from Osmania University. "I was not brilliant in studies, but I used to comprehend the chapters rather than learn by heart, which helped me improve my studies. As soon as I completed my graduation on the first attempt in 2004, I cracked the civil service exams, and got all India rank of 399. I did not want to continue the services, as I wanted to create more civil servants for the society," Balalatha said.
She worked as the deputy director for the ministry of defense from 2006 to 2018 and started training civil services aspirants from 2005.
Around 30,000 students were trained by her during her visits to various colleges for motivational talks. "For the last 20 years, I haven’t taken even two days of holiday. My mantra is hard work," she said. "Students should plan their career early so that they will have a better vision and focus," she suggested. "Today’s youth are postponing their important work and indulging in various fun activities."