Ramesh Gholap from the village Mahagoan in Barshi Taluka, Solapur district of Maharashtra fought against polio, poverty, injustice and ended up to be the IAS officer.
Ramesh Gholap was called Ramu in his childhood days. Ramesh’s father ran a bicycle repair shop to earn the bread and butter for his family of four. But his health was taking a toll with alcohol consumption due to which his business suffered. It was then that Vimal Gholap, Ramu’s mother started to make a living for their family by selling bangles in the villages nearby. Ramesh, who had a polio-stricken left leg, joined his mother in his childhood days to help his mother. Ramu’s brother would join in too. Ramu and his brother would get the attention by yelling, and his mother would get the women to buy those bangles.
Ramesh was a bright and sincere student. And as Mahagaon had only one primary school, Ramu later went to stay in Barshi with his uncle to study further.
In 2005, when Ramu was in Class 12, and his college model exams were going on, he got news of his father’s demise. The bus fare from Barshi to Mahagaon was Rs.7 in those days. And since he received a bus pass for the disabled, the fare for him was just Rs. 2. But Ramu did not even have that. But his neighbors were kind enough to provide him with money. With Chemistry Model Exam scheduled within four days of his father’s death, he attended the paper and scored 35 out of 40. This came out surprising for his teachers, and with their support and encouragement, he went to score 88.5% in his 12th Finals.
Despite scoring really well, due to the financial conditions his family was in, he could only afford to study D.Ed (Diploma in Education) and also pursued a graduate degree in Arts from an open university simultaneously. He went to become a teacher in 2009, but he did not settle at this.
Ramesh was staying with his family in a house provided by his aunt who had got her home through a government scheme named Indira Awas YYojna.His mother was denied a home by the government offices, under this scheme as their BPL card was not eligible. He had also seen that his father did not get proper attention when he was admitted for tuberculosis in a government hospital. Ramesh couldn’t stand the injustice in his village and wanted to bring justice.
During college, Ramesh was a part of a student’s union who would visit tahsildar for getting certain problems solved. He knew that Tahsildar was the most influential and powerful government official and decided he wanted to become one too to put an end to the corruption.
In September 2009, he took a new direction in his life, aiming to clear UPSC. With loaned money from a self-help group in his village and leave from his Job, he went to Pune to prepare for UPSC exams. Not sure of whether he was qualified enough, he met his teacher Mr. Atul Lande, who told him that nothing in the world would stop him from taking the exam. Ramesh had made the first attempt on UPSC on May 2010, and the results were not fruitful.
Meanwhile, the political party which he was a part of in his village competed with other parties with his mother as a candidate for the Sarpanch. The election results were disappointing to their party as they lost by a small margin. He made an oath to come back to the village as an officer.
With disappointing ends, where one would lose hope and be in despair. Ramesh picked himself up from the ashes, left the job and went on to clear the State Institute of Administrative Careers (SIAC) exam. He was unstoppable by then and went on to clear the UPSC exams with AIR (All India Rank) of 287. Ramesh also topped the Maharashtra Public Service Commission exam scoring 1,244 out of 1,800. He was selected for IAS in 2012 and went back to his village. Ramesh is now Ramesh Gorakh Gholap, IAS. Ramesh Gholap is now posted in Jharkhand as Joint Secretary in the Energy Department.
Ramesh Gholap has given more than 300 informational and motivational talks to youngsters aspiring to take the MPSC or UPSC exams. He is also fulfilling his dream of helping the poor and distressed through his work.
Somewhere from being called Ramu and ending up as an IAS officer, he came a long way.