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1-min read

There's nothing called impossible, says India's first 100% blind IFS officer

The 25-year old from Chennai cracked the UPSC exam in her second attempt and secured 343rd all-India rank in 2013.

Anna Isaac | News18http://@anna_isaac

Updated:June 15, 2015, 9:33 PM IST
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There's nothing called impossible, says India's first 100% blind IFS officer
The 25-year old from Chennai cracked the UPSC exam in her second attempt and secured 343rd all-India rank in 2013.
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Chennai: A 25-year-old woman from Chennai, NL Beno Zephine, has become the first 100 per cent visually challenged person to be inducted into the Indian Foreign Services (IFS).

Speaking to CNN-IBN, the newly-inducted officer said, "There is nothing called impossible in the world. If you believe in yourself and understand what yours strengths are, we will automatically strengthen our strengths and weaken our weaknesses."

The 25-year old from Chennai cracked the UPSC exam in her second attempt and secured 343rd all-India rank in 2013. She was appointed to the IFS after a year's wait.

Appreciating the role of the government in her achievement, she said, "So, IFS is not given to any 100 per cent visually challenged person so far. It was given to low vision candidates. So, basically, they had to frame rules. They were extremely helpful. The ministry of DoPT, the Ministry of External Affairs and the whole government itself was really helpful to me. The waiting was not really painful. But I was very happy that efforts were going on in order to enable me to reach what I wanted to."

Having excelled in academics since her school days, Beno has been pursuing her PhD in English literature while working full time as a probationary officer. But Beno says her success would not have been possible without her parents, who would read out to her. She admits that if books are made accessible for the visually challenged, more people would succeed.

"I think somewhere down the line, we have to make books available for visually challenged people in accessible formats. Because I had my mom to read books for me, because it is really not possible to scan every single page of the book and then put it in the computer and read when you're preparing for civil services, because you have to read loads and loads of stuff. So, I think books have to be prepared in accessible formats, both braille and audio," said Beno.

However, even as Beno prepares to make her entry into South Block, she is for now busy thanking everyone who helped make her dream come true.

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