In the first week of July, Asha Kandara, a sanitary worker in Jodhpur Municipal Corporation (North), became a permanent employee to be assigned as a sanitary inspector.
Little did she know that a better reward awaited days after this significant development in her life.
On 15 July, Asha learned that she cracked the Rajasthan Administrative Services (RAS) examination and ranked 728th. Though the rank may not seem impressive, her journey towards becoming an officer is inspiring.
She is a single mother to her son and a daughter. Her five-year-long marriage ended when she separated from her husband.
“As a sanitary worker, she struggled to make ends meet. Asha works in a community of sweepers, and education is not always a priority for them,” says mayor Kunti Deora Parihar of the JMC.
Speaking to The Better India, Kunti says that Asha toiled during the day while enduring the bitter taunts from society and studied in the evenings to prepare for the Rajasthan Civil Services Examination (RCSE).
Ill-treatment and discrimination pushed her to prove society wrong.
“People taunted me asking whether I am a ‘collector or an officer’, just for doing my job. My humiliation gave me the strength to become something in life and give a befitting reply to society,” she said to Zee News in an interview.
“She applied for the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) but did not fit in the age criteria. However, she was eligible for RAS and appeared for the same in 2018,” Kunti says.
However, the results of the exam were delayed due to the pandemic.
Nevertheless, Kunti says that Asha’s hard work shows how dedication and sincerity can help achieve success. “Her success will inspire other women and community members. It will give them confidence and motivation to pursue goals that they feel are beyond their league,” she adds.
The mayor says, “It is certainly a proud moment for the Jodhpur Municipal Corporation and Rajasthan. She has defied all odds to earn her place. I hope she joins as an officer in the future to serve the civic body.”
Asha will be joining as a Deputy Collector for her first posting.
Edited by Yoshita Rao