Poonam Singh

The dream of becoming an IAS or IPS officer is a shared aspiration for many, but only a select few persevere through the rigorous journey to attain this prestigious goal. Hrudaya Kumar Das, an IRS officer hailing from Odisha, is one such individual who defied all odds to achieve his father's dream.

Born into a humble family, Das initially harboured dreams of becoming a cricketer, fuelled by an undying passion for the sport. However, life had different plans, and his cricketing ambitions remained unfulfilled. When financial constraints compelled his father to sell their land to fund Hrudaya’s higher education after completing Class 12, it marked a turning point in his life. Determined to overcome adversity, he decided to focus wholeheartedly on cracking the UPSC examination, a DNA report stated.

Hrudaya 's educational journey commenced at a government school in his village. Later, he pursued a five-year Integrated MCA from Utkal University, all the while preparing for the grueling UPSC exam. However, his initial attempts at the UPSC Civil Services Examination met with failure not once, but twice. Undeterred, Das continued to persevere, and his hard work finally paid off in his third attempt. In 2015, he achieved his goal, securing an All India Rank (AIR) of 1079 and a place in the IRS service.

"I feel proud to be the son of a hardworking farmer. We own a modest 1.5-acre irrigated farmland, and my father continues to toil in the fields to support the family. His sacrifice included selling a portion of our land to fund my education, and my younger brother is pursuing an MBA," Hrudaya was quoted as saying by Deccan Herald after his UPSC success.

Reflecting on his journey, he added, "In primary and high school, I excelled in studies, but in my plus two science exams, I only managed a second-class result. It was a setback I found difficult to accept. While I excelled in cricket, representing Kendrapara district in inter-district tournaments, I faced a dilemma: cricket or studies? My father wisely encouraged me to pursue higher education, and from that point, there was no looking back."

"I firmly believe that sincere labor never goes unrewarded. Through sheer determination and willpower, I set my sights on civil service. However, it's the unwavering support of my family that allowed me to realize this dream," Hrudaya concluded in the interview.