Sreedhanya Suresh, a trailblazing individual from the Kurichiya tribe, has etched her name in history as the first tribal woman from Kerala to successfully crack the UPSC civil service exam and earn the prestigious title of an IAS officer. Her remarkable journey is a testament to her resilience, dedication, and the pursuit of a dream that transcended the challenges posed by her humble background.
Growing up in a family where her parents earned their livelihood at a bow and arrow shop, Sreedhanya faced financial constraints and resource limitations. However, these challenges did not deter her from harboring ambitious dreams. She pursued her schooling in Wayanad and later enrolled in St. Joseph’s College (Calicut) to study Zoology. The pursuit of knowledge continued as she furthered her education at Calicut University, completing her Master’s degree in applied Zoology.
Prior to venturing into the realm of civil services, Sreedhanya gained experience as a clerk at the state government’s Scheduled Tribes Development Department. Additionally, she served as a warden in a dormitory for Adivasi students, showcasing her commitment to community service. Despite these roles, her ultimate aspiration was to clear the UPSC exam and contribute to public service on a broader scale.
Sreedhanya commenced her UPSC preparations and appeared for the 2018 exam. The journey was not without its hurdles, and she faced financial constraints that impeded her ability to travel to Delhi for the crucial interview stage. However, in a heartwarming display of support, her friends rallied together, contributing Rs 40,000 to help her overcome this obstacle. This collective effort underscored the importance of community and solidarity in pursuit of a common goal.
Sreedhanya’s perseverance and unwavering dedication bore fruit when she secured All India Rank (AIR) 410 in the 2018 UPSC exam on her third attempt. Her success not only marked a personal triumph but also positioned her as a trailblazer for the tribal community in Kerala. With her outstanding performance in the interview stage, she not only fulfilled her dream of becoming an IAS officer but also made history as Kerala’s first tribal woman to achieve this milestone.
Beyond academic and professional accomplishments, Sreedhanya Suresh’s journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring individuals, especially from marginalized communities, who dare to dream big. Her story is a testament to the transformative power of education, determination, and the support of a community that believes in the potential of its individuals to break barriers and create impactful change.