Vishwanath Patil eats, sleeps and works at the canteen in MHADA’s Kalanagar office. After passing post-graduation with flying colours recently, the 23-year-old is preparing for his UPSC exams in the evenings, while serving babus their meals during the day
Vishwanath Patil is probably one of the few people in the city who chose not to take up a well-paying job despite having the qualifications for it, in order to follow his dream. Patil, an MCom graduate, works as a waiter in the canteen at MHADA’s Kalanagar office, while pursuing his dream of becoming an Indian Administrative Services officer.
The 23-year-old came to the city from Gadhinglaj, Kolhapur district, nearly seven years ago, when he had just passed Std XII. He started working at the ground-floor canteen at MHADA building in Bandra (East).
Future Officer? Vishwanath Patil, an MCom graduate, says his aim is not to get a degree, but to become
an IAS officer.
Simultaneously, he enrolled in a night college and completed his graduation two years ago. Thereafter, he secured admission in University of Mumbai for a post-graduation course, and recently passed it with a first class. Patil is yet to receive his marksheet, but has checked his result on the website. However, he wishes not to limit his dream. “I am happy with the result, but getting a degree was not my aim. I wish to become an IAS officer and have already started preparing for the UPSC examinations,” said Patil.
True Grit: Patil says he will continue working in the canteen till he becomes an officer in the same building
After he received his post-graduation degree, many told him to apply to a bank. However, Patil chose not to divert from his path. “I could’ve got a regular bank job, but that would’ve been injustice to my dream. They would’ve made me slog for ten hours, leaving me with no time to prepare for the UPSC exams,” he asserted.
Here, even though he earns Rs 3,500 a month, he is happy – he works in the afternoon from 1 pm to 4.30 pm and utilises the rest of the day for his studies. Moreover, he also got leaves during his exams. Senior MHADA officers have also promised to extend any support or help he may need.
Patil states he won’t leave the canteen till he achieves his aim. “I will stay here till my studies are over. Here, I study, eat and sleep. I stay alone in this city and this place is like home to me. One day, I will sit in the same MHADA office where I am currently a waiter,” he declares.
Chetana S, whose father operates the canteen, told mid-day, “Vishwanath’s case is an inspiration for many others. Some other canteen staff have also shown an inclination towards studies, and we will support all of them in their endeavours.”