A man in Pune who used to work as an Ola cab driver to make his ends meet is all set to become an officer in the Indian Army. The former cabbie, Om Paithane, will pass out from the Officers Training Academy in Chennai on March 10, and this has made his family really proud.
Talking about his remarkable achievement, Om’s father, who himself earned his living as a driver, said that his son always wanted to get into the Indian Army and the family is proud of the fact that the he finally got a chance to join the force for the service of the country.
Recalling the efforts put in by Om, his brother Adinath said that he used to manage both studies and driving as the family was in need of financial assistance. “My father was a driver for almost 25 years and did not want us to get into that profession and wanted us to get more educated. Om used to hide from him that he is driving,” said Om’s brother.
The Paithane family hails from Tondal village near Pune in Maharashtra. Speaking to IANS on his achievement, Om had said, “I am extremely happy and overwhelmed... It's like a dream come true.”
The journey to the Indian Army was not a smooth ride for Om and his family, but the first inspiration came from a passenger, one Col. Bakshi (retd), (Om doesn`t know his first name).
"It is Col. Bakshi Sir who changed by life... Talking to me, he suggested about the opportunities in the armed forces and the Combined Defence Service (CDS) exams and even referred me to Lt. Col. Ganesh Babu, the then Director, Armed Forces Officers Selection Orientation Programme," Om said.
After the guiding light and driving the Ola cab for some six months, Om decided to appear for the CDS exams in 2016 and cracked it in the first attempt. He then cleared the Service Selection Board (SSB) exam in Bhopal to join the OTA for a year-long training.
"For an humble family like ours with limited resources or influence at their command, this is a huge achievement and an inspiration for many others struggling to improve their lives," said his brother Adinath.
Incidentally, Om`s father Uttam Paithane worked as a driver for nearly three decades and faced major problems with his knees, both of which were required to be replaced a few years ago.
Unfortunately, while one knee operation was successful, the other failed, making him practically immobile and compelled him to take up a job as security guard in Pune, said Adinath, who now works with the HR Department in TCS, Pune.
However, life has suddenly changed for the entire family, including his home-maker mother Sushila and their married sister Monika, as news of Om`s achievement started trickling out in the local media since Monday morning.
"This has resulted in a total transformation in Om`s life and personality... The way people look at him and his uniform with respect... He feels proud donning the uniform, but is still humble and eternally grateful to all the people including Col. Bakshi Sir, who guided him at all steps," Adinath said.
(With IANS Inputs)