Kozhikode: T.S. Swathi Lakshmi faced competitive examinations with the confidence of a volleyball player who blocked her opponent’s fiery smashes. She jump-served when she topped the maiden Kerala Public Service Commission test to select woman sub-inspectors.
Lakshmi had earlier appeared for a recruitment test for the university assistant and landed herself in the supplementary list. She finished tenth in a test conducted by the Coffee Board to select extension officers. She, however, waited for her dream job.
The girl from Punoor had her eyes set on the police inspector’s job ever since the official recruiter had notified the vacancy. She worked hard on it. She did not relent until she excelled in the examination in May 2016 and passed the physical test in December 2016. She was announced as the first-rank holder after an interview.
She secured 93.55 marks, boosted by 14.55 marks awarded to her in recognition to her performance in the national mini volleyball championship on behalf of Kerala.
Volleyball was Lakshmi’s passion from her school days. Her father Suresh Kumar, a retired school teacher, was her first coach. Mother Sheela supported her too.
She started playing at the professional level after joining the Vallilvayal Volleyball Academy. She represented Kozhikode district in the state school sports meet for three consecutive years. The team was the runner-up in all three attempts.
She kept the game alive after she joined a botany course at the Chelannoor SNG College. She participated in inter-collegiate tournaments through the three years of the degree course.
She earned post-graduation in botany before giving competitive exams a shot. She says she was immensely helped by her background in volleyball when she faced the physical test. She had returned to her physical trainers a month ahead of the test.
Lakshmi views her assignment as a sub-inspector in charge of law and order as an opportunity to serve society.
She prepared for the PSC test at the Balusseri AIM Training Center. Purushan Kadalunki MLA visited the center to congratulate Lakshmi and V.S. Arunima, who secured the 42nd rank.
Lakshmi said that the combined studies have helped her a lot. Her sister Shanti Lakshmi, an MBBS student, helped her in pursuing her dream.