THE TOPPER OF IAS EXAMINATIONS (2015)
(According to Ira Singhal she was technically ineligible for an office clerk as well its sweeper)
Ira Singhal, yes this ‘differently-abled’ girl has shown new direction and also build up fresh hope in the minds of those few like us who think that clearing IAS is a hard nut to crack. With 62% ‘Locomotor Disability’- a disability that affects the bones, joints and muscles- Ira really struggled and trudged hard to do what we humans generally call ‘impossible’. Locomotor Disability leads to major restriction on the movement of the limbs. The person affected by it can’t have a free flow in his bodily movements. Thanks God, it doesn’t affect our mental intelligence and will power. If it had been the case, then Ira would not have made to IAS. One gets restricted to only few movements of one’s body. The Spinal chord and short height of the patient, act as a barrier, as these could not allow the patient twist his arms full.
Unlike a normal person, who can move his limbs anywhere, a person with Ira’s like disability feels incapacitated to move his limbs freely.
But, as they say, “When you seriously decide to get something, the whole universe then conspires to give that desired thing to you”, Ira Singhal got diligently committed to over come her physical disability with her strength of conviction and guts. The girl of 30, with her earlier failed attempts for IAS examinations in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014, has finally clinched victory by securing first spot in highly prestigious civil examinations of India.
To clear IAS examinations was her dream less and her father’s dream more. As she herself told that she wanted to clear IAS just out of love for her father who had a burning desire to see her an IAS. Moreover, a past incidence from her father’s life was poking her so much to become something great in her life.
When her brother died untimely in 1994, somebody told sarcastically to her father, “What you are going to do with this girl child as you have no male child left in your family?” And her father had confidently countered that fellow by saying that to him her daughter is son like and she would definitely bring name and fame to his entire family. They say ‘time is a great judge of our words and deeds’ and ‘time’ has rightly casted its verdict by blessing Ira Singhal with such great achievement that everybody got stunned and wondered.
“We don’t find your disability in any of the disability categories” – these were the words of an officer with Central Administrative Tribunal who bluntly rejected her case for getting herself placed in the Indian Revenue Services (IRS) which she cleared in 2010. As no one could challenge one’s sincerity and integrity of purpose, Ira fought her case against CAT (Central Administrative Tribunal) well and got herself placed as ‘ Assistant Commissioner’ in Customs and central excise service and that too with proper respect and dignity.
Her father is insurance and financial sector consultant. Ira has great regards for her father. She adores her a lot. It was only her father that boosted up and garnished her personal attributes in making her get selected for the IAS. Ira’s real challenge was to get society to accept her. She was rejected admission at Modern School New Delhi. Its principal told her parents that their daughter needs a special kind of school run only for special children like her. She herself saw that ‘Differently-abled has to face worst kind of discrimination at homes, working places, schools, colleges.
“Overcome challenges; work with them (the challenges)”. “Accept who you are and never pity yourself. You are not useless”. “We girls are not meant for the kitchen, we have to shine and show we can do wonders in the work field”. These are the words of inspiration and also some messages for those differently-abled ones who think that ‘they can’t’.
Ira Singhal has also taught Spanish for a year. She has been a manager in Cadbury India and holds an MBA from Delhi University’s Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) and a B.E. in computer engineering from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT). He is also an avid football aficionado.
The only disability that really hinders our progress and success in life is none other than our ‘mental unpreparedness’. Yes, a disability physical in form could be done away with but what could be done when we ourselves become ‘mentally lethargic and inactive’? Then there is no way out at all. We have to think about it if we really want to do justice with our inbuilt potential and capability.
A great thing to carry over to your home is that the officer who rejected her posting in the IRS in 2011 was also one of the callers or well wishers who phoned her like others to congratulate her on such big and great victory.
Well done Ira. May success kisses you on each and every path of your life.