Struggle Makes Success

Bhubaneswar (Surjit Kumar Dhal): Success stories that come out of adversity offer us hope like none other. One such incredible story of resilience and inspiration is of IAS officer Vijay Amruta Kulange who is now the Commissioner of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC).

Before his posting as BMC Commissioner, he was in Ganjam as Collector. Kulange has served as Collector of the district and has earned a reputation as a good administrator in the district. Born in the tiny village of Ralegan in Maharashtra’s Ahmadnagar district to a father who worked as a tailor and a mother who worked as a daily wage worker on farms, Vijay grew up seeing his parents toil all day long to make both ends meet.

His parents earned a mere Rs. 200 a day and constantly worried about the education of their two children. Basic necessity like two square meals a day were unimaginable on some days. But Vijay had a burning desire to do something in life, setting aside all his struggles and make his parents proud. And all through his life, he did just that. An avid reader, Vijay was always among the top performers at school — in the 10th board exams and his 12th board examinations. Having grown up in a drought-prone village with high poverty levels and very little development, he decided to become a doctor and serve the underprivileged. However, despite getting a college seat to pursue MBBS, he had to drop this dream due to the family’s financial circumstances. “We were still living in poverty, and I needed to start earning as soon as possible.

The 7-8 years needed to make a career in the medical profession was something I couldn’t afford. I had a younger sister, and as was common in those days, my parents were worried about her marriage. Plus, we would have needed to take a huge loan. Any failure would have meant disaster for the family”, Vijay tells.

In 2012, he cracked UPSC CSE in his first attempt and earned the rank of an IAS officer. Since he still struggled with English, he chose to give the exam in Marathi, which made preparation more challenging since little study material was available in the language. But, as they say, fortune favours the brave. Vijay’s first posting as an IAS officer was in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district. He has since penned a Marathi book ‘Aajcha Diwas Maza’, where he described his struggles, journey, and the sacrifices his parents had made to raise their children.

Today, he lives with his proud parents and continues to work proactively towards transforming Odisha. From Temporary Medical Camps (TMCs) during covid to timely evacuations at the time of cyclone Yaas and fighting child marriage, Vijay always has a task at hand for himself.

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