New Delhi: Growing up in Chhattisgarh's Naxalite-affected Dantewada district, Namrata Jain had one dream -- of joining the civil services.
The dream came true on Wednesday, as Namrata, 23, learnt she had cleared the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exam, conducted annually for top government jobs.
Namrata, who lived and studied in the troubled Geedam town of the district before moving to Durg for high school and to Bhilai for an engineering degree, stood 99th in the list of 1099 successful candidates.
"She had been very studious all through her schooling and in her college also. We knew she would clear the civil service examination some day," said her uncle, Suresh Jain, from Geedam.
He remembered how she travelled on her own from Geedam to Durg and Bhilai, about 350-400 kms from her hometown, for her studies.
"She made a lot of effort to complete her education. But she never lost interest in studies and remained focused. This is all the result of her hard work," said Jain, a shopkeeper. After completing her engineering in electronics, she came to Delhi to prepare for the UPSC exam.
A delighted Namrata said that the result was like a dream.
"I am really happy to get selected in the exam. It is like a dream come true for me and my family," she told PTI from Raipur.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who is on an official visit to Japan, congratulated her for the success.
Elated to learn Namrata Jain from @DantewadaDist clinched 99th rank in UPSC exams! Maybe someday she'll become the district's collector. pic.twitter.com/ELfc2Ll2Hb— Dr Raman Singh (@drramansingh) May 31, 2017
"Elated to learn Namrata Jain from Dantewada clinched 99th rank in UPSC exams! Maybe someday she'll become the district's collector," Singh tweeted.
Dantewada district comes under the state's Bastar region, where Naxalites have been waging a guerrilla war for years. Three other students from Chhattisgarh have also qualified for the civil service.
Gagan Giri Goswami, Lal Das and Piyush Kumar Lahre have been ranked 710th, 746th and 977th respectively. They stayed in the Tribal Youth Hostel, managed by the Chhattisgarh state government to help students from the state, in Delhi to prepare for the examination.
While Goswami belongs to Other Backward Classes (OBC), Das and Lahre are from the Scheduled Castes category. "They studied hard to clear the examination," a state government official said.
Nandini K R, an officer of the Indian Revenue Service Customs and Central Excise), topped the prestigious civil services examination 2016.
A total of 846 men and 253 women cleared the exam this year. Of them, 500 belonged to the general category, 347 were OBCs, 163 from the Scheduled Caste category and 89 from Scheduled Tribes.
The civil services examination is conducted by the UPSC annually in three stages-- preliminary, main and interview--to select candidates for the elite Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.