Cassian Baliarsingh

Millions of aspirants toil day and night every year to crack India’s toughest exam, the Civil Services Exam (CSE), conducted by UPSC. It is the dream of every aspirant to become an IAS, IPS, IFS or IRS officer. However, the dream of only a few handful aspirants gets fulfilled.

But, you might be shocked to know that IAS B Abdul Nasar did not crack the UPSC exam, but went on to become an IAS officer. Yes, you read that right! He was just a normal government employee with the Kerala Health Department.

However, with his work and dedication to serving society, he eventually got promotions and reached the position of Deputy Collector in the State Civil Service in 2006. 

In 2015, Nassar was acknowledged as Kerala’s top Deputy Collector and was promoted to IAS officer in 2017. He served as Housing Commissioner to the Government of Kerala before being appointed as the District Collector of Kollam in 2019.

However, his rags-to-riches story wasn’t a cakewalk. His struggling journey is so heartwarming and inspiring in many ways.

Hailing from Thalasseri in Kerala’s Kannur district, Nasar lost his father when he was only 5 years old. As his mother could not afford his education, she put Nasar and his siblings in an orphanage and worked as a maid in people’s house.

Nasar spent 13 years of his life in an orphanage and completed his schooling there. To extend helping hand to his family, he even worked as a cleaner and a hotel boy. Despite his poverty and financial constraints, he completed high school and went on to graduate from a government college.

Apart from his studies, he took up several jobs like newspaper boy, delivery agent, taking tuition and being a phone operator to support his family. After his graduation, he joined a college for Masters and B.Ed.

Later, he also went on to do MSW and secured a government job as Kerala Health Department official. With his hard work, he was promoted to the position of IAS officer over the years. His life journey is a motivational tale for youths across India to never give up on their dreams.