"Marry her off": Nizamabad's Arugula Sneha proves society wrong, bags AIR 136 in UPSC; says `journey has just started'

"It is very important that women get educated, acquire job skills, and achieve financial independence so that they have agency over their lives," says Sneha.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  31 May 2022 5:04 AM GMT
Marry her off: Nizamabads Arugula Sneha proves society wrong, bags AIR 136 in UPSC; says `journey has just started

Hyderabad: Arugula Padma could not hold back her `tears of joy' when her daughter cracked the Civil Service examination. Working as Data Entry Operator at the Kamareddy Collectorate, Padma always wanted to see her daughter Arugula Sneha sitting in the Collector's chamber one day.

"She often says that she misses me in the office. Today she was extremely happy that she was going to sit alongside her daughter and work at the Collectorate," says Sneha.

Padma strongly believed in her daughter and gave her enough opportunities to shape her life and career. For society, it was always "marry her off". But Padma knew how important it was for a woman to be financially independent.



Sneha is also very happy and satisfied with her results which she terms "fruition of four years' efforts." Her biggest relief, she says, is that she does not have to give the prelims exam again after five days. She had to go through a similar nightmare in 2021 when in her third attempt she had missed by a mark and that was known to her ten days before the Prelims. But this, she terms it a breakthrough as the results surprised even her- she got through. "When the concepts are clear and the foundation strong, even without preparation, you will acquire confidence over the subjects," says Sneha.

Hailing from Nizamabad, the 27-year-old completed BTech in EEE at NIT Nagpur in 2017. Later, she started full-time preparation for Civil Services.

Sneha usually studied for about 10 hours a day. And on the days before the mains, she studied for 14 hours. Like many other UPSC crackers, Sneha also says that consistency is important. "Even if the daily targets are not achieved, it's all about giving your 100% effort every single day," she says. During her breaks, she watched movies, went for a walk, or visited her friends.

Financial independence utmost importance for women

The road to her success was not so smooth. Sneha's father left them around 20 years back. "I was five years old when he left us. I do not remember him at all," she says. But since then she has been seeing her mother struggle hard to provide education to both Sneha and her sister Supriya.

"My mother had just completed her matriculation when she got married. Even after 15 years, she did not have any job. She toiled hard to make a living by selling clothes and running a small stationery shop but nothing sustained. It was after she joined the Skilling Mission started by the then Collector Nizamabad Binoy Kumar that she acquired some computer skills and in 2008, she got a job as a data entry operator in the Collectorate," says Sneha, recalling the hardships that she saw her mother endure.


Arugula Sneha (centre) with her sister Arugula Supriya (left) and Arugula Padma (right)

Seeing her mother's grit and determination, Sneha also grew up as a rough and tough girl. She says the problems that came her way gave her a boost and they have been a driving force for her to work harder.

Having personally observed and experienced the struggles of a single mother, Sneha says women's empowerment is one of the key areas where I would like to work on. "It is very important that women get educated, acquire job skills, and achieve financial independence so that they have agency over their lives," says Sneha.

Sneha sees IAS not as an end but as a means to work toward the welfare of society. "The journey has just started," she adds.

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