By Daphne Clarance:
With humility of heart and vitality in his eyes, Mr. Gyanesh Kumar, an IAS Officer and the Resident Commissioner of Kerala House, Delhi, enhances the definition of success of a country; how is he an inspiration for the youth today? Let’s find out.
As a youth, he wanted to be a doctor. But the future had something else placed in a platter for him; something that not only served the purpose for his life goal but also for the country’s. “A country’s success lies in the success of its youth. The youth needs to possess perseverance,” he says with a smile. Coming from a family in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Gyanesh Kumar’s father was a Government doctor and his grandfather, a freedom fighter and later a Principal in Agra, UP. Most of his childhood, he was enveloped with the seeds of education that evolved from his mother, who had a passion for learning and education and a grandfather who motivated him to strive for excellence. “I got my inspiration from my parents in 1979, when I topped the UP Board in Queens College, Varanasi in high school amidst the ten lakh kids who appeared for the exam. Then in 1981, to maintain my position as a topper, I had this uphill task. When my father was transferred to Lucknow, I topped the UP Board again in intermediate. And that was when I wanted to work for the Government of India so I cracked IIT and did Civil Engineering from IIT Kanpur.”
Riding like a shooting star, since then, even while in his youth, Mr. Kumar believed that service for the country was his sole objective that would build changes in the society and lift India to an influential stage for the youth. How can the youth help in India’s development? This is what he says, “India’s maximum population is the youth. Most of the youth that I have interacted with have very blurred ideas about their future. Unfortunately, in India, the competition is extremely tough and the highest in the world where only the best of them are able to reach to a position, be it private industry or Government and business. Very few are there who desire to impact a change on the society. Having so much potential, if they can only set a constant dialogue and a strong vision to charter a cause for themselves, they will definitely succeed. India’s youth should have a clear purpose for their lives. It is not just by entering the Government and being part of the politics that they can contribute but being successful will automatically bring success to the nation.”
The journey still did not end here. There are always restraints that tether on the path of life. These obstacles can be anything that can cause a jumbled up Rubik’s cube difficult for anyone to solve but not impossible. Mr. Kumar won a scholarship to Cornell University to pursue management studies but the road was tough. “Since my grandfather was a freedom fighter and fought against the British he did not want me to go. He was against the idea of going to the British and serving the foreigners. So, I dropped the idea and India became the core parameter for my aim. That was when my struggle to bring changes began. Since I got selected for Cornell, I did not attend any campus interviews. I appeared for IAS and got selected in 1988 which is when I got to serve the state of Kerala.”
After that, seeing the condition of India’s Government for a long, he wanted to bring changes for the society and the nation. Having the gusto of a ten year old, he aimed to make changes for the state by involving in projects like the delivery systems, modernization of roads, drinking water facilities, and proper garbage disposals. One of the main projects that he covered was the bridge between the Cochin Islands and the city. “There were pregnant ladies who had to get to the hospital and the only means of transport was the boat from the Islands to the city. And many a times the pregnant ladies would die, even though they could see the hospital from the island but couldn’t reach on time. So, we planned to build a bridge that could fill the gap and transportation could be faster and quicker.” Sometimes to see changes you have to change yourself and so, Mr. Gyanesh Kumar is still serving for the State to bring out more improvements and developments for the people. He says, “A systematic change gives the maximum change.” It is only the youth that can carry forward these small changes in our country but for that they need patience and perseverance. It took Mr. Kumar 25 years of struggle to actually be able to provide changes in the society. And that’s the message he wants to lend to the youth of India. He says, “Step one is to achieve success because you have to come at a position where making a change is of no issue. Have a clear vision and work hard by using what is being given and return it back by service. It might take a long time to achieve success but have patience and achieve it. Step two is to bring a change. No matter what, provide world-class service to the society. For me the common man is my inspiration because I work for him.”
So many years of struggle but the future is still a long way to go. Mr. Gyanesh has taught how the youth can build forces to make India a better place to live in and subdue the pleasures of lurking listless in the hot brazen sun of unemployment and is an inspiration to the youth of the country. For him the youth needs to change because when you change yourself then can you change the society. Change is the vital factor to thrive. “With change in time I had to change myself too,” he says.