Sunil Khachakad from Washim, Maharashtra, topped the MPSC Police Sub-Inspector exams on his fourth attempt without attending any classes. He shares what it took for him and his family to make this happen.
Fourth July was a day like any other in the Khachakad household. Then a sudden call shook everyone out of their stupor. The results for the MPSC PSI (Maharashtra Public Service Commission — Police Sub-Inspector) exams had been declared.
Sunil Khachakad took a deep breath and opened the website to check the MPSC result merit list. Right on top was the name ‘Khachakad Sunil Bhagwan’. The 28-year-old had topped the exam. In a conversation with The Better India, Sunil says that he was “speechless” .
“I have no words to describe that moment. All of us were hugging each other and crying. I never imagined that I would get the first rank,” he shares.
This result was a testament to seven years of hard work — not just by Sunil but by his family too.
A journey of determination and sacrifice
Sunil grew up in a village called Ranjit Nagar in Washim, Maharashtra. Second among five children, he faced many hardships growing up. Their parents would toil on the farm all day to ensure a good future for the children.
“We have about five acres of land in the Vidarbha region, which is dry. For most years, we’ve spent more on cultivation than what we’ve earned as income. But my parents always supported my ambition and worked on road construction to help me succeed,” he says.
Sunil studied till Class 12 in his village and completed his BA through an open university. Hailing from a small community called Mathura Labhan, he says he always aspired to become a policeman.
“I grew up seeing everyone in my village struggling. We were always in a hand-to-mouth situation. I didn’t have any interest in farming and saw how difficult it was. When we headed out, I always found the policemen fascinating. The way they walked and talked, their energy was different. I wanted to be like them ever since I was a child. And I thought it would also help improve our social status,” he says.
But, Sunil continued working on the farm and did odd jobs to help his family till he completed his graduation. In 2016, he moved to Sambhaji Nagar, Aurangabad, to fulfil his dream of becoming a sub-inspector.
Sambhaji Nagar was one of the hubs for MPSC coaching, but Sunil couldn’t afford the classes. So he studied with his friends instead.
“It cost me about Rs 3,000–5,000 per month to stay there. My parents worked extra hours on road construction sites for this and my friends pooled Rs 1,000 per month to help me. My younger brother also worked on the farm,” he says.
Resilient pursuit of policing dream
The going was tough for this police aspirant. When he first cleared the written exam in 2018, two others got the same marks as him. As the other candidate were senior in age, they were selected. “I lost out by zero marks, as the others were older than me. Then in 2019, I lost by four marks,” says Sunil.
Later on, the MPSC 2020 exams were held late due to COVID, causing a longer wait for Sunil.
In 2020, Sunil got married to Urmila, a constable in Osmanabad. They welcomed a baby girl in June 2023. “As my exams were delayed, it was Urmila who supported our family. COVID also caused a huge dent in our already low income. Despite this, I was able to focus on my exams because of her,” he shares.
Having no income to afford classes, he turned to books and free classes on YouTube to help him prepare for the exams.
“My friends gave me their books. They also told me which ones to refer and I only studied from those books. I would watch YouTube videos by experts to clear my doubts. I feel studying the same books for seven years helped me get the first rank,” says the topper, who finally cleared the exam on his fourth attempt in 2023.
“I’m proud of Sunil. He is proof of the power of hard work. It’s only upwards from here for us,” says Urmila.
Sunil says that he ignored what people said and focused on his goal. “People will discourage you. Many told me to go help my parents instead. But I didn’t have any other option. What else would I do if not this? I believed in myself and was ready to give the exams as many times as I could till I turned 31, which is the cut-off for PSI. This was the way to move forward in life for me and my family,” he says.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from. All that matters is what you want to do. These seven years were a tough phase for me,” he adds.
Sunil now wants to help others like him and has already sent his brother to Sambhaji Nagar to prepare for the exam. “No one from our community has studied so much or is at such a good post. I want to help uplift others from our community and village,” he shares.
On his advice to candidates preparing for the exam, the PSI trainee says, “No matter how challenging it may be, keep going and never give up. Give your 100 percent effort. You don’t need fancy classes or money to succeed, just have the grit.”
Edited by Pranita Bhat