By Zaidul Haque, TwoCircles.Net
Kolkata: In 2015, 15 Muslims qualified in the West Bengal Civil Services. Nearly half of them came from the coaching entre run by Commercial Tax Officer Samim Sarkar. In what seems like West Bengal’s answer to the Super 30 classes in Bihar, Sarkar’s coaching centre works to ensure that rural, meritorious Muslims and others backward classes people have a platform to prepare for the WBCS examination in Kolkata.
Sarka, a 39-year-old officer, started his centre in College Square in 2006. According to Samim, more than 400 youths, among them a large numbers of Muslims; have cleared the exams from his institution. Sarkar keeps the coaching fee at an extremely reasonable level. Samim told TwoCircles.net: “From the beginning, we have tried to charge nominal fees targeting the poor meritorious youths from the Muslim community. However, entry is open to all.
Sarkar’s effort seems to be paying off too: within eight years, Samim Sarkar has gained immense popularity and is known as ‘Amla Garar Karigar’ (Makers of Bureaucrats).
The inspiration for Sarkar to start his coaching centre came from his own experience. Sarkar, who grew up in a village called Sudarshanpur of Hooghly district of West Bengal, did his primary schooling in the village. Both his parents, who are teachers, ensured that Sarkar was enrolled in Hooghly Mahsin College from where he completed his B.Com honours.
When he finally arrived in Kolkata, it was to complete his MBA from the Institute of Business Management and research. It was only in 2003 that the bug of competing in the WBCS examinations finally bit him. However, he was unable to qualify for the exam that year. But this did not stop him from trying again. From 2004 to 2006, he qualified continuously for three years. He started his carrier as a revenue officer of Government of West Bengal in 2004, but the following year he improved his ranking to be selected as a Commercial Tax officer. He has continued in this job ever since.
Samim Sarkar with successful candidates of WBCS
How did the idea of the coaching centre take shape? Samim explains, “After clearing the WBCS in 2004, I realised that, if we try properly, no one can stop us. At that time, I made plans to start an institution which can open these avenues for even the financially challenged people.”
Samim offered his plan to his friends and relatives. Beside this, he conveyed his message to his native village. Within a few days, Samim collected a few youth and started coaching them to preparing entrance exam in WBCS without any remuneration. Few days later, he was offered to use a space in College Square, which was owned by an NGO. With other WBCS friends, Samim started successfully running the Institution in the weekend.
He also that based on his observations, he has found that after the implementation of OBC-A reservation in Government jobs, the numbers of Muslims applying for the jobs has been on rise, because most of OBC-A are Muslims. Beside this, even in the general category, Muslim youths are very well. He was also happy to add that this year, not only Muslim men but even a Muslim housewife succeeded in the exams.
Samim does have regrets: due to lack of space in the centre, he often has to return a lot of youths and hopes that soon, he will be able to organise a bigger space for his centre.
Saquib Ahmed, who cleared the WBCS examinations after enrolling in Sarkar’s classes and is currently posted as the Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP, said, he got extremely help guidance from Samim and it was thanks to him that he qualified easily. Housewives Abida Sulatana and Suraiya Gaffar also said in that it was thanks to Sarkar that they realised their dreams.
For Sarkar, the achievements of his students are a testimony of his dedication to ensure that plum administrative jobs do not become the monopoly of only the rich students and instead, offer a platform for the most needy to realise their dreams.
(Photo: Sanjoy Purkait)