This wonderful news comes to us from Madurai, India.
Ever since last Thursday morning, Purana Sunthari has been picking up one phone call after the other, deluged with messages of congratulations. She is a 25-year-old visually challenged woman from Madurai who has not let her impairment stand in the way of cracking the prestigious and very tough UPSC examinations.
Purana has secured the 286th All India rank for the civil service exam and is still in a state of disbelief that she has actually managed to ace the exams, having failed in three previous attempts.
She says that she turned numb when she was appraised of the results and kept asking her family to check the results multiple times. Purana says that she is over the moon, having taken coaching classes in Chennai. She began dreaming of becoming an IAS officer when she was in Class XI and she wanted to serve in areas like Women Empowerment, Health and Education. Being visually impaired was a big impediment to chasing her dreams but she did not give up, crediting her family for assisting her in overcoming this physical hurdle.
One problem she faced while preparing for her IAS exams was that she did not get all the books in audio format. Her parents would read aloud from certain books and her friends also helped in converting books from visual to audio format. Her friends would also seek out other helpful material for her and subscribe to them on her behalf. Purana says that all these efforts by her friends and family have proven to be successful and now she is an IAS officer.
One of the major challenges that Purana faced was keeping herself motivated through the highs and the lows of the long preparatory process. Exams were happening all through the year and in the meantime she had been working as a clerk in Tamil Nadu Nadu Grama Bank. Purana signs off by saying that one should attempt all the exams that take place throughout the year with the same degree of determination. She says an aspirant should not lose his or her individuality as that is what makes a candidate stand out in the interviews. She advises all to aim high and tackle all the hurdles that may arise in the way.
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