Defying all odds, 28-year-old Balbankta Tiwari from Arrah, Bihar managed to achieve his dream of becoming an Army officer. He graduated from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) and made a transition from being a sepoy in the Indian Army to an officer. His wife, mother and four-month-old daughter watched the ceremony with pride.
Filled with joy as well as tears, his mother Munni Devi mentioned, “He started working by the time he had turned 16 to supplement the family income and toiled for 12 hours in return for just Rs 50 to Rs 100 a day.”
Tiwari is the son of a farmer and said only “grit and faith” had brought him this far.
“After Class XII, unable to find any prospects in Arrah, I moved to Rourkela in Odisha. I first worked at a factory that cut iron springs and rods. I then joined a namkeen factory. However, I continued my education and took tuitions. I never left my dream of joining the Army all this while,” said Tiwari.
He added, “I was fascinated by the kind of respect he received at the village."
Tiwari cracked the entrance exam of the EME centre in Bhopal in his second attempt in 2012. He worked as a sepoy for five years and prepared for the exams of Army Cadet College. He cracked it in 2017.
He added, “I am so happy I will serve the nation as an officer. My father will pick up the newspaper in the morning and will likely tell everyone around that I made our village proud."