A Sri Lankan repatriate for the first time has become an IAS officer. Inbasekar Kalimuthu has been posted as Assistant Collector in Kozhikode in Kerala.
Son of a tailor and a tea farmhand, Kalimuthu struggled all life and did his education in Government school and college on scholarship and educational loan. He had unsuccessfully tried four times to get into civil service and the fifth time he was lucky.
Right from his childhood, he was in awe of the post of Collector as he saw the IAS officer accepting petitions from the public and addressing their problems. He lived in a village of Nilgiris. Tamils of Indian origin working in Sri Lankan tea estates were denied citizenship after the island nation became independent.
As per an agreement, India agreed to take a major chunk of Indian origin Tamils into its fold and thus a community known as Sri Lankan repatriates came into being. Around four lakh Sri Lankan repatriates are living in Tamil Nadu and most of them are plantation workers in tea, coffee and rubber estate. With falling prices, these Sri Lankan repatriate workers work on low wages.
Inbasekar’s father and mother worked as farm hands. Later his father became a tailor. A school topper, he studied BSc in agriculture at the Agriculture University in Coimbatore. Having studied throughout in Tamil medium, he was handicapped by his lack of fluency in English. A professor in the University helped to polish his English. He then moved on to do his postgraduation in the same subject at Hyderabad. He then joined as scientist in ICAR New Delhi.
Since 2009, he has been appearing for the civil service exam. Once he got selected for IFS but lost out due to his height. In 2013, he gave only IAS as the option and that year, only ranks up to 600 were given IAS. He was 761. This year he was ranked 461 and became an IAS officer and got posted in Kozhikode District Collector office under Prasanth, the District Collector, Indian media reports.