I was clear that nothing except Hard Work will help and I was willing to do it; say Saumya Sharma (AIR 9; CSE 2017)

Saumya is described by her friends and family members as ‘an unwavering optimist’.

At an age of just 23, Saumya Sharma has conquered the summit called – IAS that too in her first attempt. She has hearing disability that occurred all of sudden when she was 16.

This success has been quite significant as Saumya was suffering from viral fever while she wrote Main Examination and required immediate medical attention.

She has shown faith in her own subject Law that she picked up as optional subject.


Saumya Sharma, born and brought up in Delhi, is a law graduate from National Law University, Delhi. She completed her graduation in 2017; while in her final semester, she commenced preparation for Civil Services Examination simultaneously.

In her first attempt, she has achieved 9th Rank in Civil Services Examination 2017.

Saumya had a brilliant academic record throughout and earlier, had cracked CLAT and AILET in 2012.

It looks like a copy-book-style of achieving success for Saumya Sharma and every step she took helped her achieve the goal she had set for herself- Career in ‘Civil Services’.

But, life is not as straightforward as it may appear to be; for Saumya, the journey to dream destination had many bumps and bends.

Just by working on my dreams, I could overcome my disability and sufferings

Narrating the fall of events Saumya said, “When I was 16, I lost my sense of hearing in both my ears. The reason for my high percentage hearing loss still remains undiagnosed. I have been using my hearing aids for the last 7 years to hear and have conversations.”

“When this episode occurred in my life, it was initially very difficult and miserable for me to cope-up with what had happened. However, I decided to not let my disability pull me down, and I am so grateful that I made that decision”.saumya Sharma ias topper 9th rank cse 2017

Journey towards dream career

Divulging the secret of her success Saumya said, “My childhood habit of newspapers reading helped me immensely. In the beginning, I chalked out a strategy of my own based on suggestions I got from my friends, seniors and from toppers’ interviews that I read and accordingly I zeroed in on books, study-material and resource for an effective preparation.”

“As far as my optional subject preparation goes, my exposure to NLU curriculum was a boon and what all I had studies in last five years, I was able to brush-up that in the little time I had at my disposal.” 

“For me it was a challenge as I had very short time to prepare for Civil Services Examination; But, I looked at it as an opportunity to use my capabilities to learn some skills quickly and adept new learning that ultimately helped in my success.”

“I was clear that nothing except hard work will help and I was willing to do it. My strong preparation helped me while writing Main Examination when I was suffering and had no time for revision.”

It was my parents who energized me to keep chasing my dream.

My UPSC journey was a little out-of-the-ordinary. Just before the Main Examination, I fell sick with viral fever. I wrote all my Main Exam papers in fever as high as 102-103 degrees.

Making us acquaint with her family Saumya said, “My parent Mr. Ashok Sharma and Mrs. Leena Sharma, both are doctors and my brother Abhishek is also pursuing career in Medicine.”

“I am lucky to have doctors as my parents, who ensured I was getting intravenous drip infusion thrice a day. I used to get my intravenous drip infused even in the lunch break between the morning and evening papers, once in my car and on the other days in the guard room of the UPSC center.”

“It was quite a struggle for me to write my exams in that condition, with needles and injections accompanying me when I should have been revising my notes instead. At times my parents feared if I will be able to get up in the morning to write the exam, as I had lost much of my strength to the fever.”

Yet, somehow I found strength within me to go and write all that I had spent months preparing for. At that time I could not comprehend that why all of this was happening to me, I felt quite powerless over the way things were unfolding.

Message from Saumya’s success is loud and clear

But now when I look back, I feel glad and grateful that my effort during those testing times did not go unrewarded.

The take away from my struggle is that never ever give up. Had I given up then on account of lack of revision, I would not have been in a position to address you today.

So, do not give up, and believe in yourself.


Also Read: Are human endeavours really limitless? UPSC Mains 2017: My Experience

Last Update Tuesday 16th July 2019     

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