Bihar youth’s arduous journey from working at snack factory to becoming Army officer
From earning Rs 50 per day in a snack factory in Odisha, becoming a sepoy in the Indian Army to graduating from the Indian Military Academy, it has been a long and arduous journey for 28-year-old Balbanka Tiwari from Sundarpur Barja village of Ara town in Bihar’s Bhojpur district. Saturday was a special day for him as he participated in the passing out parade with 325 other Indian Gentleman Cadets, as he met his daughter for the first time three months of her birth.
Remembering his journey to proudly donning the officer’s uniform, Tiwari said that he had “struggled a lot” to see this day. Hailing from an economically deprived family, he had worked at a snack factory earning Rs 50 per day while pursuing school education and used work as a tuition teacher after completing high school to support his family.
“My family’s financial condition was not so good. My father is a farmer and we used to live in a joint family. The only son of the two siblings (the other being daughter), I had no choice but to work after passing class X,” Tiwari said.
He said, “To find work after passing matric, I went to Rourkela in Odisha in 2008. There, I first worked at an iron fittings factory for a few months, then at a snack factory earning Rs 50/day till class 12 which I passed from Odisha.”
Remembering his days of struggle, Tiwari said that after passing high school, he also started working as a tuition teacher to earn some extra money which he could send back to his family in Bihar. He also got himself admitted in a local college for graduation and one day his uncle informed him about an army recruitment rally in Danapur area near his home in Bihar.
“As my uncle was in the army as a sepoy, I also wanted to join the army to serve the nation as well as earn a reputable livelihood. I appeared in the test and passed in the second attempt and joined as a sepoy. My posting was at the army’s EME centre in Bhopal in 2012,” said Tiwari.
While serving in Bhopal, he came to know about the Army Cadet College (ACC) for getting promoted to the rank of an officer from a sepoy. “I cracked the test and joined ACC in IMA in January 2017. From there, I finally commissioned as an army officer today,” he said.
His achievement got him double joy as he met his newly born daughter for the first time after three months.
“The day has become more memorable for me as I also met my daughter for the first time since her birth three months ago. I will now spend some time with her before joining my regiment,” said Tiwari.
His wife, Ruchi, who had come from Bihar along with his mother to witness him being commissioned, expressed happiness on seeing her husband as an army officer.
“He has struggled a lot in his life to see this day. I am now very happy to see him fulfilling his dream. I am sure he will make us and the country proud by serving as an army officer,” she said.
The IMA had allowed only two family members to attend the IMA passing out parade because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the summer passing out parade, no family member was allowed.
Son of tea garden manager becomes army officer
Among the newly commissioned officers, there was also 29-year-old Nilotpal Chakraborty from Silchar, Assam.
Son of a retired tea garden manager, Chakroborty too became an officer from being a sepoy after getting admitted to the ACC. After being recruited as a sepoy, he served at the EME centre in Bhopal.
“I am very happy to see this day as my father’s dream is fulfilled who always wanted me to see as an army officer,” said Chakroborty, adding that his father, Nilmoni Chakraborty, had tried for the army after his college but failed in the physical test.
Nilmoni, while looking at him with immense pride, said, “After failing to get into the army, I always wanted my son to fulfil my dream. Today he has made me proud.”