How KG students' cursive writing book came handy for this CSE rankholder from Kerala

Parvathy Gopakumar secured the 282nd rank in the Civil Services exam. Photo: Special Arrangement

Alappuzha: Growing up, Parvathy Gopakumar of Ambalapuzha, Alappuzha, who secured the 282nd rank in the Civil Services exam, has always been a bright child. To the parents and teachers, the future seemed happy and straightforward for young Parvathy. But, when she was a Class 7 student, in a cruel twist of fate, an unfortunate bike mishap ended in the amputation of her right hand.

''That is all I have to say about that,'' says Parvathy, not wanting to ponder over the past. Instead, Parvathy's vision is set steadfast into the future, determined to overcome what was seemingly a debilitating handicap.

''I trained myself to write with my left hand. I used the Cursive Writing book for LKG students. I still cannot write as fast as I would like to, but I can write fast enough.'' Fast enough to secure the 282nd rank in the Civil Services exam, this was Parvathy's second attempt.

Her mother Sreekala says they knew this was in their daughter. “After the mishap, when Parvathy reached the 8th standard, it dawned upon us that our daughter was set for big things in life. Now, that belief has been proven right,” says Sreekala.

Parvathy's success is also proof of the quality of public education in Kerala. Growing up, Parvathy's education comprised entirely of government schools – first the Government School at Kakkazham and then the Government Higher Secondary School at Ambalapuzha.

As a testament to Parvathy's nature to think differently, Parvathy chose to go with Humanities for Plus-Two, a decision that confused some but ultimately paid dividends in the Civil Services exam. After Plus-Two, Parvathy pursued Law studies in Bangalore. Then, she joined a private coaching centre in Thiruvananthapuram to pursue her dream of becoming an IAS officer.

“I want to thank my teacher Muni Darshan for coaching me and guiding me towards success in the Civil Services exam. Then, there is also my dear friend Sachin who encouraged me a lot,” says Parvathy.

Perhaps it is because of having to experience the unpredictability of fate firsthand, but Parvathy does not harbour a definitive ambition in life. Rather, Parvathy is determined to do best in whatever comes next.

“The goal thus far was to crack the Civil Services exam. I have done it. Now, whatever comes next, I will do my best to be on top of it – that is my plan,” says Parvathy.
Gopakumar, Deputy Tahsildar, Revenue Department, is the father of Parvathy. Sreekala, a high school teacher, is the mother.

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