1st blind woman IAS officer takes charge amidst much cheer

This wonderful news comes to us from India.

On Monday around 11 am a youthful woman carrying a white cane was shown the way to the office of sub-collector at the civil station, Kudappanakunnu. The woman is PranjalPatil and she is the first blind woman IAS officer in the country. She took her seat in the presence of BijuPrabhakar, the social justice special secretary and also the district collector K Gopalakrishnan who welcomed her with flower bouquets.

Coincidentally, International White Cane Day (White Cane Awareness Day in India) which has the objective of celebrating the achievements of visually challenged people falls on Tuesday.

Before this Pranjal, a 2017 Kerala Cadre Officer has been in the position of Assistant Collector of Ernakulam in the course of her training period. She says, “I am feeling extremely glad and proud to take charge. I will be expecting a lot of support from the people of Thiruvananthapuram, my staff and everybody to be able to work for the people.” Patil had a session with the reporters after taking charge and there she spoke about how glad she was to have made it to the coveted position. Also, the social justice special secretary and the collector shared sweets with Pranjal at the organized function.

As a footnote, Patil had a UPSC rank of 773 in 2016 despite which she was denied her post in Indian Railway Accounts service. It was a blatant violation of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act but Patil did not fret over the lost chance. In her very next attempt Patil cleared UPSC yet again, bettering her rank by ranking 124 in 2017. She became the first blind woman to achieve such a spectacular feat.

Patil says, “We should never feel defeated. We should never give up. With our efforts, all of us will get that one breakthrough that we all want.”

Patil comes from Ulhasnagar in Maharashtra and she, unfortunately, lost her sight at age eight due to retinal detachment. Despite the odds, she graduated in political science from the prestigious St Xavier’s college and followed that up with a master’s in International relations from JNU.

Creditably, Patil studied and completed her education with the help of different softwares that could convert text into speech. Her family consists of her businessman husband, father, mother and a younger brother. Needless to say, they are all ecstatic about her achievement.

Image source: New Indian Express

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