The tale of the hare and tortoise recently came true in real life. A candidate who had taken the lead in the 24-kilometre hike for a recruitment exam in Madhya Pradesh took a nap, and woke up to see that he had lost the race.

The incident took place during a forest ranger recruitment exam in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh. Sixty-one participants from across the state had arrived to take part in the race, which was the first hurdle for clearing the physical test. Among them was Pahad Singh, a young man from Dabra, Gwalior, who was leading the pack.

However, much like the overconfident hare who was winning the race against the tortoise, Pahad Singh decided to take a break to rest, thinking that he was far ahead of the others. But when he woke up, he found that the race was already over, and he had lost.

According to JP Mishra, the forest range officer of Khandwa, the recruitment drive was organised for 38 forest ranger positions for marginalised communities. A total of 114 candidates applied for the exam. The primary goal was to complete the 24-kilometre hike in four hours. The test began on the morning of March 28 at 6:30 am, with 61 candidates participating, including nine women and 52 men.

When the competition ended at 10:30 in the morning, 60 contestants made it past the finish line but Pahar Singh was missing. When a team went out to locate him, he was found sleeping by the track before the last check point.

After being woken up, Pahar Singh told the authorities that due to blisters on his feet, he had sat down to rest for a while, and did not know when he fell into a deep sleep.


India today