The Success Story of Pranjal Patil- India’s first visually-impaired IAS Officer

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Pranjal Patil from Ulhasnagar, was born with a weak eye-sight. She completely lost her vision at the age of 6. She is now the Assistant Collector of Ernakulam district of Kerala; being India’s first visually impaired female IAS officer.

Pranjal Patil completed her Bachelors in Political Science from St. Xavier’s College and Masters in International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi; followed by an Integrated M.Phil. and Ph.D. programme.

She cleared the UPSC exam at first attempt. “Occasionally I would doubt if my level of preparedness was enough, but I let the sincerity of my effort lead me”; says the 30 year old.

She was offered a job in Indian Railway Account Services, but was rejected due to nil vision. This agitated her. She attempted UPSC for the second time and stood 124th in India. “After the railways’ refusal, I was disappointed, but not ready to give up the fight. I again worked hard to improve my ranking in the second attempt. The doors of opportunity should be open to all and not restricted to physical limitations.” she said.

Numerous attempts were made to reattach her retinas through surgeries; but they were not successful. “When the surgeries were done, I did suffer a lot. The pain did not subside until at least a year after the surgery.”

Braving her circumstances, she believed in her spirit, at each and every test of life. With a smile she fought and came out with flying colors. Appointed as the Assistant Collector at Ernakulam; she is the first visually impaired female IAS officer of India.

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