Gopala Krishna Ronanki may have been the third topper in the race for India’s most coveted examinations, but Balalatha Mallavarapu, who had been his mentor in the journey, isn’t too far behind.
Balalatha, a differently abled woman who secured the rank of 167, had attempted the exams previously in 2009 and with a rank of 399, joined the Indian Defence Service where she continues to work.
The 35-year-old from Nagole, Hyderabad, along with her professional designation, has been helping aspirants get into civil services and has mentored many who couldn’t afford coaching classes from professional institutes and academies.
“To improve my performance and to be an inspiration to many aspirants, I wrote the examination again in 2016,” she told TOI.
Securing a rank that could ensure an upgrade to the most sought-after administrative services this time, Balalatha is happy where she is and wishes to focus more on students from rural regions who face more difficulties.
“My aim is to provide guidance and training to more people rather than become an IAS officer,” she adds.
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A proud teacher, Balalatha is all praise for Gopala Krishna, who nailed the UPSC exams, despite having faced hardships. “I know him personally and the problems he faced as he came from a rural background,” she said.
Aiming to change the state of women in India and in particular, the perception towards differently abled women, Balalatha added that only when she’s able to bring that change, she’ll feel her efforts have been a real success.