Nagpur: Though not many hardships she faced, but she certainly overcame the bias from the male chauvinist society and yet ruled the roost. We have today Mariamma Thomas, Post Master General Mariamma Thomas an IAS officer of the Kerala Cadre and from the Central Government Services. Talking to Nagpur Today Mariamma shared the synopsis of her journey so far. She said that she did not face many problems in her life since both her parents were teachers. She and her brother led a much disciplined life from early in their age. She said that her first 11 years were in Malaysia
She studied in Holy Angels Convent (ICSE Board) in Trivandrum from Standard Vth to Standard Xth. She did her XI and XIIth from All Saints College, Trivandrum. She went on to do her Bachelor of Arts (English) from Government Women’s College, Trivandrum in 1990 where she was ranked First Rank in Kerala University. She then did her post-graduation i.e. Master in Arts from Institute of English at Trivandrum in 1992 where again she scored First Class. She also did her Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) from Government Training College, Trivandrum, in 1993 where she scored First Class again.
Decision to serve the nation
It was then that she decided to appear for UPSC. Her parents motivated her and said that passing UPSC will give her an opportunity to serve the nation without fear or favour.
Hard work and perseverance
Unlike Delhi, where the atmosphere is conducive to finish one’s UPSC, Kerala did not have that. She enrolled into tutorials in Trivandrum itself and appeared studied hard. Her father and mother purchased all the books that were necessary for completing the UPSC. She claimed that she was an avid reader and read many magazines and news papers. With complete support from her parents, she worked hard and finally passed Civil Services Exam (UPSC) 1994/1995, securing 163rd rank out of 703 successful candidates.
Communication skills will only help
Mariamma Thomas said that she has never been outside Kerala. She has always led a very safe and sheltered life. This caused a lot of stress in adjustments. While speaking about the preparations, she said that her teachers at the tutorial were very committed and showed personalized attention to every student which ensured that she passed the UPSC. She claimed that since her communication skills were very good, she did not have any difficulty in appearing for the exam. She mastered the art of presenting the concepts in a way that appeals to the valuers of the papers. She added that language skills also play a major role in the UPSC.
However, she added that the only problem she faces is Hindi. Though she is able to deal with correspondence in Hindi, spoken Hindi has a tinge of Malayalam.
Mariamma as a Bureaucrat
According to Mariamma Thomas, conditions and education in Kerala then, did not prepare her for the challenges and life of a bureaucrat. She was the first bureaucrat in her family. When she went for her training, it was a cultural shock, she claimed.
However accepting challenges and proving her mettle made her one of the strong bureaucrats. This followed a series of postings which are as follows:
Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Hubli- Dharwad Postal Division, North Karnataka from 1997 to 1998, Assistant Postmaster General (Vigilance & Technology), Office of Chief Postmaster General, Kerala from 1998 to 1999, Senior Superintendent of Railway Mail Service, Trivandrum from 1999 to 2001, Senior Superintendent of Railway Mail Service, Ernakulam from 2001 to 2005, Director of Postal Services, Northern Region, Calicut, Kerala from July, 2005 to April, 2006, Director of Postal Services, Central Region, Kochi, Kerala from April, 2006 to March, 2010, Director Postal Services (Headquarters), Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle from April, 2010 to April, 2014, Director Postal Services (Mails & Business Development), Andhra Pradesh Postal Circle from April, 2014 to November, 2014.
Presently she hold the post of Postmaster General, Nagpur Region, Maharashtra Postal Circle from November 17, 2014 which comprises 2925 Post Offices and employees 8613 spread over 11 revenue districts of Maharashtra. She has been nominated by India Post for training programme in Asia Pacific Postal Training Centre in Bangkok and Royal Mail Training College in London
E-commerce bringing good business
While speaking about her position, she said that during the times of erstwhile Central Provinces and Berar, after the Divisional Commissioner, it was the Post Master General who held charge. While speaking about Postal Department, she said that though some services are on the decline, many other services are bringing a huge volume of business like e-commerce. She added that in-fact they have a tie-up with Amazon e-business and they are delivering the parcels.