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Civil Services Exam Cleared, Shubham Will Again Become Ansar Shaikh

13-May-2016 / 4:15 pm
Kerala Updates: Soon after learning that he had cleared the civil services exam, Ansar Shaikh made a phone call to his mother and said: "Ammi, I'm going to be a collector." His next move was to come out - with his real name. For three years, he was 'Shubham' to everybody. The son of an autorickshaw driver in Maharashtra, Ansar found that the biggest challenge to chasing his IAS dream was his name. "I came to Pune to pursue civil service exams in 2013. While searching for a paying guest accommodation and mess, I was turned away because of my name," said the 22-year-old, who ranked 361 in the exam. Ansar says doors were slammed shut as soon as people realized he was Muslim. Finally, he used his friend 'Shubham's name to find a place to live. "After facing discrimination, I started hiding my real name and started using the name of my friend Shubham, a Hindu. It made everything easier," he said. Ansar did not let the 'identity crisis' hold him back. He became even more determined to get into a system steeped in discrimination and bias, and fight from within. "I never got angry or frustrated. In fact, I used to get motivated and inspired by all these things. It became a driving force during my preparation so that I can see myself there (at the top)," he said. A political science graduate from Fergusson College in Pune, Ansar prepared for the civil services exam at a private coaching class. His father Younus Shaikh Ahmad had to sell his house to buy him a spot in the class. "There is no alternative to hard work. During my struggle, my friends helped me a lot mentally and financially and even my coaching academy waived a portion of fees due to my poor financial condition," said Ansar. Besides his father, his younger brother Anees also helped. He quit school so Ansar could become an IAS officer.
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