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Overcoming Obstacles With His Pleasant Smile: Suraj Tiwari, The UPSC Topper

Isn’t necessity the mother of creation? We disregard our constraints and will do whatever it takes to accomplish our objectives. Whether we succeed or fail in life depends on how we look at each situation that comes before us. Suraj Tiwari is a source of inspiration for all of us, as he overcame all obstacles in life and reached his goal.

Suraj Tiwari is an Indian civil service topper who has secured the 917th rank in the UPSC 2022  despite having physical limitations. After falling from a moving train in Ghaziabad in 2017, Suraj Tiwari lost both his legs, his right hand, and two fingers on his left hand.


Suraj was born into a middle-class family in the Kaswa Kuravli in the Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh. Asha Devi, his mother, is a housewife, and Rajesh Tiwari, his father, is a tailor. He has a brother named Raghav Tiwari and a sister named Priya Tiwari. Elder brother Rahul Tiwari passed away in 2017.


Suraj received his education at the Maharshi Parshuram Public School in Kurawali, the SBRL Vaish Residential Educational Public Academy in Mainpuri, and the Swami Sampurnanand ICMAS in Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh. After failing the board exam for CBSE, he attempted the UP board exam to complete his 12th grade. Afterwards, he went to his sibling employed in Mumbai and spent a year working at a corporate enterprise in Noida.

The incident that altered his life

Suraj Tiwari fell off a moving train in Ghaziabad in 2017, losing both his legs, his right arm, and two fingers of his left hand. He received medical care from AIIMS. He had a hard time accepting the truth about the state of his body. For him and his family, it was a dark phase in their lives.

The golden ray of hope

Suraj interacted with an alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University who has cerebral palsy. He gave him books and advised him to prepare for the entrance exam. He instilled hope in Suraj’s mind by introducing J N U to him. Thus he started to study for the entrance exam.


Suraj’s father’s illness along with the unexpected death of his brother made him depressed again. He could not concentrate on his studies and failed the JNU entrance exam. Since he had run out of options, he tried it once more and was selected for the Russian Language in his next chance, which gave him a fresh perspective. JNU’s admission was the only escape from much pessimism. He has nothing more to do with his physical condition. Suraj suffered mentally and financially. He joined J N U  and tutored other children for his financial needs. It was a new world for him and he completed his studies there.

UPSC Preparation

He subsequently turned his attention to the UPSC exam. His friends’ advice inspired him to begin his preparations. During the Covid-19 pandemic’s chaos, Suraj started studying for one of the most difficult exams. He realised his shortcomings on the first attempt and was ranked 917th on the subsequent turn.

Suraj Tiwari’s life is not only full of success and fortune but also full of struggle and challenges. Even after going through the toughest time of his life, he returned with the intention of “studying.”It was his lifeline. He found great possibilities in a situation where he firmly believed that nothing could be done. Suraj, who previously gave up on his studies to pursue other careers, has now completed  NET with  JRF and is pursuing a postgraduate degree in the Russian language. Suraj reminds us that anything is possible if we are determined and willing to put in the necessary effort.

Credits and References