Andhra Pradesh: Financial constraints prevented Gandham Chandrudu’s entire family to pursue education in any form. But Gandham’s father did not want to pass on his ill fate to his son and managed to provide him with an education by collecting as much money as he could. Gandham’s father’s brave endeavours helped him to become the first person in his family to receive an education and today he is an IAS officer. 

The struggle of poverty

Gandham Chandrudu comes from a farming family in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. His parents worked as labourers and did their best to send him to good schools. Gandham frequently changed schools as a kid due to various reasons and after clearing his class 10th from Public School Educational Instituted Jawahar Navodaya, he applied for Railway Recruitment Board Exams. 

Gandham was a bright and dedicated student and clearing the exam was not a big deal for him. In the year 2000, he was recruited as a ticket collector. Busy with his work, Gandham completed his undergraduate degree from Indira Gandhi National Open University and later did his post-graduation in public policy. 

He could not leave his job to pursue his studies properly because he was also responsible for paying his younger brother’s college fees. He was taking care of his family’s expenses along with his own. 

UPSC exam after 9 years of service

Gandham’s job in the railways might have given him some financial stability but his desire to chase after his real dreams kept him uneasy. After making sure that his brother received proper education and that he could also take care of his parents, he decided to prepare for civil services examinations. He worked during the day and studied at night. 

It took him one year of preparation and dedication to clear the civil services examinations on his very first attempt. His dreams became a reality after he secured 198 rank in the exams. 

Working as an IAS officer

Gandham received a position in the Andhra Pradesh cadre. His very first posting was in the tribal community of Ramchodavaram, and it was quite challenging. He interacted with the people living there and learned that none of them possessed their voting rights. He was disappointed about the government’s inability to reach people in remote areas. 

Gandham took on the responsibility on himself and had twenty thousand of these people registered as voters in their constituency. In the year 2014, all these people were going to vote for the first time since independence. 

Empowerment and employment

Gandham is truly dedicated to his service and his seriousness can be understood from the fact that he urged the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to recognize this tribal community with one-day wages of 6.5 lakh labourers and helped add Anantapuram district on the map of the country. 

Gandham helped in providing recognition to transgenders and issued 115 identity cards. In the past, the transgender community was not given any recognition or any form of identification. Gandham wanted to erase this kind of discrimination and educated them about their rights. 

Gandham did not take a break from his work even during Covid. In collaboration with DRDO, PM Care fund, and National Highways Authority of India, he established the first oxygen plant in India. Within a week, the plant was up and running with a capacity to produce one thousand litres of oxygen per minute.