24-year-old Deshal Dan, son of a tea-stall owner, cracked the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam 2017 in the first attempt without any formal training. Dan hails from Sumaliyai village of Jaisalmer and has had several financial problems while growing up.
Deshal is a Bachelors of Technology (BTech) graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jabalpur and is only the second person in his family, including his seven siblings, to be educated.
A personal loss motivated him to choose the path of civil services, “My elder brother served in the Indian Navy for almost eight years. He was posted on the INS Sindhurakshak submarine. Unfortunately, my brother laid down his life in an accident that occurred onboard the submarine.” Furthermore, Deshal said that his brother told him to either join the armed forces or the administrative services.
While his family believed that being an IAS officer was something beyond their reach, Dan believed in himself, and it was with his sheer passion determination that he cracked the exam.
Dan tells that due to financial difficulties, only him and his younger brother out of the seven siblings are educated, adding, “Neither of my parents is educated, and even my eldest brother did not choose to get educated and instead, started working from a very young age.”
With a passion to help people with limited means, Dan says with conviction, “I will never forget my roots, and that is my biggest strength. I have seen and experienced the struggle first-hand, and I can truly say that I understand what needs to be done. Unfortunately, with elitism comes complacency and that is something I will always strive to stay away from.”