Santosh Kumar Mishra was riding the wave of success with an annual package of 50 lakhs. But this young man, the son of a retired army officer and a humble homemaker, decided to quit his job to join the police force.
Born in Patna, Santosh Kumar Mishra completed his Class 10 and 12 from Bihar but moved to Pune University to pursue mechanical engineering.
After completing his degree in 2004, he was offered a job in Europe, where he worked for four years. After that, he worked in New York when his annual salary was a whopping 50 lakh!
Despite having worked for about seven years, Santosh knew something was missing. He had grown up watching his father serve the army, and a part of him was always inclined to do something for his nation.
And so, he quit his well-paying job in New York and returned to India. He worked hard and prepared for a year to appear for the civil services exam. Without any coaching, Santosh cleared the UPSC examinations 2012 in his first attempt and joined the Indian Police Services.
When he was first posted to Amroha district in Uttar Pradesh as the Superintendent of Police, one incident sparked an interest in him to work towards the field of education.
Speaking to Dainik Bhaskar, the IPS officer said, “I still remember the day, a Class 5 student walked up to me and complained how his friend had missed school for 15 consecutive days. I was moved by the concern of the young student for his friend and decided to investigate the issue. We traced the boy’s address, and I visited his home personally to speak to his family.
When we reached the location, I was informed that the boy had started working with his father at their sweet shop. Thereafter, I visited their shop and spoke to the father at length about the importance of sending his son back to school. Thankfully, he agreed.”
In October 2017, when he was posted to Ambedkar Nagar, he began teaching kids at a primary school during his time off work. He recalls how on the first day, the young students demanded jalebi from their new teacher dressed in the khaki uniform.
It was a sweet affair, as the munchkins devoured jalebis brought to them by the IPS officer, tackling math problems and general knowledge questions. Mishra also surprised the students with brand new school bags.
There was no looking back after that. When the IPS officer is not busy maintaining law and order, he is seen educating these underprivileged kids.
While he considers serving the country as his primary duty, he feels educating the kids is an essential social duty he wants to fulfil.
We salute officers like IPS Santosh Mishra who go beyond their call of duty to establish a strong rapport with the people they protect. He is certainly an inspiration for hundreds of IPS aspirants who want to affect change in any way they can–even if it is as simple as taking a few hours of your day to educate underprivileged children!
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)