From being shot six times to losing eyesight, four people with disability who did not let their physical barriers come in the way of achieving their dreams of cracking the civil services examination met Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar. Samyak Jain, who secured seventh rank at the all India level in the examination conducted by the UPSC, said the journey has been difficult and full of ups and downs.
Jain, a JNU alumnus, was diagnosed with macular degeneration when he was 18 years old due to which he started losing the centre of his vision. “It is progressive in nature and I had substantial difficulty in reading and writing, but technology enabled me. What others can do in 60 minutes, I can do in 45 minutes now," the 26-year-old told PTI.
Cracking the UPSC exam has been his dream, Jain said, adding he thought the list was fake when he saw he has secured 7th rank. Satyender Singh, 29, belonging to a family of farmers, is visually impaired. He secured 370th rank and is the first graduate in his family. “The struggle has been not just of myself but of my family who was empowered with me," Singh, who studied in St Stephens and JNU, said. Singh lost his eyesight when he was one-and-a-half years old as a side-effect of a wrong injection.
He shared his journey and aspirations with the Union minister who motivated him to work towards empowerment of others like him. Twenty nine-year-old Ayushi, who is also visually impaired, gives credit for cracking the civil services exam to her family and wants to work in education department.
“I was a teacher and I want to work in education department in future," Ayushi, who used to work at a MCD school, said. Rinku Singh Rahee, a PCS officer, suffers from multiple disabilities with impaired hearing, vision and speech. He was shot six times due to which he suffers from the disabilities.
“I was shot six times during my work as an anti-corruption crusader. I am known as a whistleblower and have unveiled many scams," he said. Forty-year-old Rahee says he believes that the reservation he got in the UPSC exam is a debt on him and he would repay it by serving the society.
However, he is not happy with his rank of 683 and plans to give the examination again next year. In his meeting with Kumar, Rahee raised issue of giving special consideration to people with multiple disabilities even if they are below 40 per cent disabled. Notably, only candidates who have a disability of 40 per cent or above are eligible for reservation in UPSC examination.
“I had a clear case of multiple disability, but there needs to be proper evaluation by doctors in many cases," he said. Union Minister Kumar appreciated how these people made disability their strength.
“The government supports you but till you get confidence on your own nothing can be achieved," he said. Kumar also lauded the teachers and families of these people. A total of 25 people with disabilities qualified the Civil Services Examination-2021, results of which were announced recently.