When the results of the Rajasthan Administrative Service exams were declared last week, Asha Kandara, 40, could not have expected a better result.
Overcoming all odds, she was now an RAS officer.
Barely 17 and just out of school when she was married off in 1998. Life was not a bed of roses for her. After getting separated from her husband in 2012, she also had to take care of her two children, Pallavi, 12 and Rishabh, 10.
She appeared for the RAS exam in 2018. Just 12 days after the exam, she got a job as a sweeper with the Jodhpur Municipal Corporation.
She was required to be in the field by 6 am everyday and was paid 12500 rupees.
Talking about the inspiration to become an officer, she told The New Indian Express, “Everywhere I went, people would taunt me by saying ‘Are you a collector?’ I had no idea what a collector is. I finally Google-searched and found out what a collector really means. From then on, I decided to get into the civil services. Since I was well above the age limit for an IAS entry, I thought I would try for RAS as the exam does not mandate an age-limit for divorcee women.”
Preparing for a tough competitive exam was never easy. She told TNIE “I used to get up at 5 am. After duty hours, I studied as much as possible. From using mobile online applications to getting notes from wherever I could, I studied as hard as my circumstances permitted.”
Her two children, Pallavi who is now 21 and in the final year of graduation and Rishabh, who is 19 and in the second year of graduation, helped her in overcoming odds. She told TNIE “I felt I would not be able to clear the RAS exam since others were studying all day long. But my children always encouraged me and persuaded me to believe that success was around the corner.”
SHe was felicitated by Kunti Dewra, Mayor and CEO of the Jodhpur Municipal Corporation.