12th Fail
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From Sleeping on Streets to Becoming a ‘Dog Walker’: The Inspiring Journey of This 12th Fail Dropout IPS Officer

The recently released Bollywood film ’12th Fail’ has brought the incredible real-life story of IPS officer Manoj Kumar Sharma into the limelight. Sharma’s journey from failing 12th grade to becoming an IPS officer despite homelessness and poverty contains valuable lessons in perseverance.

Early Life and Education

Born in 1977 in the village of Bilgaon in Madhya Pradesh, Sharma came from humble beginnings. His father worked in the agriculture sector, and the family struggled financially. Young Manoj passed 9th and 10th grade with low marks and failed 12th grade in all subjects except Hindi.

After this failure, circumstances forced the 12th fail Sharma to move to Delhi and fend for himself without family support. To afford rent and tuition fees, he took odd jobs like walking dogs, driving an auto-rickshaw, and working at a library. During this period, Sharma was even homeless at times, forced to sleep on the streets.

However, the hardships could not deter Sharma’s spirit. He diligently prepared for the UPSC exams while working. At a library, the 12th fail voraciously read books that shaped his worldview and strengthened his resolve to succeed.

Sharma also fell in love with a fellow UPSC aspirant, Shraddha Joshi, who later became an IRS officer. Joshi’s own success motivated Sharma to persist in his attempts. He finally passed the UPSC civil services exam in his fourth attempt, joining the IPS in 2005.

IPS Career

Since becoming an IPS officer, Sharma’s career has gone from strength to strength. From an aimless 12th grade failure sleeping on streets, he has risen to become Additional Commissioner of the West Region in Mumbai.

Sharma has served in various positions across multiple states. He started in the Maharashtra cadre before being appointed Superintendent of Police in several Maharashtra districts.

Later, the 12th fail officer also served as Deputy Inspector General of Police in Daman and Diu. In his home state of Madhya Pradesh, Sharma held crucial roles as Additional Director General of Police and Inspector General of Police.

Throughout his career, the IPS officer has been involved in important investigations including cybercrime and narcotics cases. His policing skills and work ethic have earned him accolades and awards.

Lessons from Sharma’s Journey

Sharma’s incredible turnaround holds many lessons for 12th fail students feeling rejected.

Never Let Failure Define You

Sharma could have resigned himself to being a ’12th fail’ all his life. But he refused to let one failure decide his destiny. He persisted in chasing his dreams despite the odds. With grit and perseverance, a failure can be overcome.

Have a Broader Perspective

During his time working at the library as a 12th fail, Sharma expanded his worldview through extensive reading. He learned about people who overcame much worse to achieve greatness. This gave him perspective and renewed motivation.

Find Motivation from Others’ Success

Seeing his partner Shraddha succeed in UPSC on her first attempt motivated Sharma. Drawing inspiration from others’ victories can re-energize our own efforts. Witnessing someone else’s success is not a reason to quit.

Never Compromise on Integrity

12 fail Sharma could have resorted to dishonest shortcuts to crack UPSC. But he relied only on perseverance. Compromising integrity for success is never worth it. Hard work pays off eventually.

Be Adaptable and Resilient

Life as a 12th fail dropout forced Sharma to take any job available to survive. He drove autos, walked dogs, slept on streets – but kept grinding. Developing adaptability and mental resilience is key to overcoming challenges.

Make Smart Decisions

Sharma was initially content with becoming an SDM. However, upon learning of the DM position, he pivoted toward the UPSC route. Making smart and informed decisions is crucial, even if it means changing plans.

Final Thought

Manoj Sharma’s incredible turnaround from 12th fail to reach the highest echelons of the IPS contains valuable takeaways. His journey reveals how perseverance, integrity, adaptability, and perspective can help overcome failure.

The 12th fail officer’s life is undoubtedly an inspiration, proving that destiny is not defined by early setbacks. For lakhs of students failing each year, Sharma’s story is a much-needed reminder to keep chasing dreams.

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