From Namkeen Factory To Army Officer, Farmer’s Son Travels Far

As 28-year-old Balbanka Tiwari from Arrah, Bihar, graduated from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) on Saturday, transitioning from being a sepoy in the Indian Army to an officer, his wife, mother, and four-month-old daughter, who he was meeting for the very first time on Saturday, watched with pride. The young officer said that he had been unable to go to his home during the birth of his daughter due to his training schedule and the pandemic.
Barely able to hold back her tears, his mother Munni Devi said, “My son has struggled a lot. He started working by the time he had turned 16 to supplement the family income and toiled for 12 hours in return for just Rs 50 to Rs 100 a day.”

Indian Military Academy

Tiwari, son of a farmer in Sundarpur Barja village of Arrah, said only “grit and faith” had brought him this far. “After Class XII, unable to find any prospects in Arrah, I moved to Rourkela in Odisha. I first worked at a factory that cut iron springs and rods. I then joined a namkeen factory. However, I continued my education and took tuitions. I never left my dream of joining the Army all this while,” said Tiwari, adding that he was inspired by a relative who was a jawan in the Army. “I was fascinated by the kind of respect he received in our village,” he said

In 2012, Tiwari managed to crack the entrance exam of the Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME) Centre of the Army in Bhopal in his second attempt.
In the next five years that he worked as a jawan there, he prepared for the exams of Army Cadet College (ACC) which facilitates the transition of soldiers to the rank of officers. He cracked it in 2017. “I am so happy I will serve the nation as an officer now,” Tiwari beamed.


Rajesh Negi

Defence & Sports Enthusiast

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