There are moments in life that test our determination and persistence. While many of us break during tough times, real heroes seek strength from the same to make themselves stronger to achieve their dreams.
One such real hero is Ritika Jindal, who rather than being broken by her father’s cancer struggle, chose to gain strength from it. It was this strength that propelled her to fulfill her most cherished dream of becoming an IAS officer.
While sharing her inspiring story with TBI, Ritika Jindal AIR 88 (UPSC) shared:
“I was in the hospital with my father who has been battling cancer for the last few years when the Civil Service Examination (CSE) results were declared.”
There are different reasons why many aspire to crack Civil Services Examination. And for Ritika, it was her father’s medical condition that inspired her to become an IAS officer.
While recalling how she gained strength from her father’s strength, Ritika shared:
“The place I belong to is small, with very limited infrastructure and resources. Every time my father was unwell we had to take him all the way to Ludhiana to get him treated and that stuck with me. I wanted to become an officer and do everything in my power to change that.”
In this conversation with The Better India, Ritika opened up about how she managed to prepare for the UPSC during the time her father was undergoing treatment, and what helped her focus.
Born & educated in a small town Moga (Punjab), Ritika has always been a hardworking student. Being a CBSE Class 12 Northern Region topper in Commerce, Ritika always believed in the power of hard work and determination.
Ritika’s father worked as a Production Manager in a factory at Moga while her mother is a housewife. Recalling how supportive her parents are, she shared:
“They have always stood by me. They are my best friends.”
After completing her school education, Ritika moved to Delhi to pursue a Bachelor’s in Commerce at the Shri Ram College of Commerce. While passing with the aggregate score of 95 percent in 2017, Ritika was on her way to prepare for the CSE for the first time.
It was during this time, she received the heartbreaking news of her father being diagnosed with oral cancer.
Recalling how important it was for her father to see her succeed, she shared:
“I managed to reach until the interview stage but I was unable to clear it.”
But winners never quit!
Ritika decided to work harder for CSE again. And, sadly, it wasn’t any easier the second time around. Though her father fought like a true warrior to defeat oral cancer, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in March 2019. And unfortunately, this time, cancer had spread to the back and his brain, causing him immense physical pain.
While recalling how seeing her father fight for his life gave her a lot of strength, she shared:
“We both have derived a lot of strength and support from each other,”
And like true warriors, when Ritika cracked CSE, her father felt the unparalleled joy. While sharing her special moment, she shared:
“He felt so happy when I made it. I think it also gave him a boost of energy. I am grateful for each day that he fights and lives on.”
As the fear of losing a parent is not easy, IFORHER salutes the undying spirit and courage of this brave daughter. We wish her father a speedy recovery and hope her story would inspire many more to fight against their circumstances to achieve their dreams.