UPSC Success Story: People often attribute their lack of success to luck or a major accident that happened to them. Real success is to make your identity among the people even after going through bad luck and bad situation. Mohammad Ali Shihab, a resident of Kerala, has come in the front of the world as one such example. Shihab’s story is a source of inspiration for the youth, especially for those students who run away from their studies despite all the facilities.
Born in Edavannappara, a village in Mallapuram district of Kerala, Mohammad Ali Shihab is an IAS officer today. Shihab was born with the curse of poverty in his house. The economic condition of the house was so weak that at a young age, he had to sell five more bamboo baskets along with his father. The livelihood of the house was somehow managed by this small work. But in 1991, Shihab’s father left the world after a long illness.
After the father’s shadow rose from his head, a big responsibility fell on Shihab’s small shoulders. Shihab’s mother was not educated, nor was she getting any such work so that she could take care of her children. Due to poverty, the mother had put Shihab in an orphanage. There he used to get full stomach food along with the orphans. Regarding the orphanage, Shihab says that for him the orphanage is no less than a boon. While living in the orphanage, Shihab’s attention went towards studies and he was also smarter than all the children.
Shihab studied while living with orphans, he stayed in this orphanage for 10 years. Shihab is so sharp in reading that he has become the center of everyone’s attraction. Shihab says that the discipline he got from the orphanage helps him a lot in arranging his life. Shihab needed money for higher education. For this, he prepared for the government agency exam. The amazing thing is that he also passed 21 examinations conducted by various government agencies. During this, he also worked on posts like Forest Department, Jail Warden and Railway Ticket Examiner. At the age of only 25, he gave the civil service exam for the first time.
In the first two attempts of the UPSC Civil Services exam, Shihab only faced failure. But he did not lose courage and kept trying. Finally the year has come when the son of a poor paan seller father and helpless mother was able to fulfill his dream. Shihab cleared the UPSC exam in his third attempt in 2011. Here he got All India 226th rank. Due to not being so good in English, Shihab needed a translator during the interview, after which he scored 201 out of 300 marks.