Visually impaired Haryanvi's IAS dream fulfilled

Visually impaired Haryanvi's IAS dream fulfilled

At the age of 5 years, he lost his vision due to acute diarrhoea but that did not stop him from living his dream of becoming an IAS officer.

The journey has been far from smooth for 32-year-old gritty Ajit Kumar from nondescript Kheri village in south Haryana's Mahendergarh district, over 150km from Delhi who has cracked the Civil Services Exam.

"I am very happy today. My dream has been fulfilled. I am packing my bags and will be off to Mussorie this week where I will undergo training from February 19," Kumar, who is  only the second in the country with total loss of vision to get into IAS, told PTI today.

His life-journey bears striking resemblance with 26-year-old Sukhsohit Singh, a Panchkula resident in Haryana who became the first thalassemic in the country to make it to the UPSC examinations in 2008.

Like Kumar, Sukhsohit also had to fight not only the odds he faced on health grounds but also had to fight the system after he was declared unfit by a medical board due to his blood disorder condition.

Ajit's brother Amar Singh said it was Kumar's steely grit which helped him achieve his aim.

"When he was about 5 years old, he suffered acute diarrhoea and lost vision in both eyes. Despite meagre resources, we got him checked at many places including Delhi and Jaipur but doctors ruled that his blindness was total and could not be cured," said Amar Singh, a school teacher at Kheri village bordering Rajasthan, said.

Kumar's father Rampath Singh retired as a Block Development and Panchayat Officer while mother, who never went to school, is a housewife, said Amar Singh, adding they are a total of five brothers and one sister.

He said a spiritual man in the village, known to the family, had insisted that Kumar should get education despite the odds he faced.

"Even after admitting him in a school in Delhi, we had to bring him back because our mother resisted the move. Again, the spiritual guru known to us insisted that he must be taken back, after which Kumar was admitted to a school in Karol Bagh. Later, he took admission in Springdale School, Karol Bagh, where he was the only blind studying, and topped in 9th and 10th Class examinations," Singh said. PTI SUN PAL 02161800

Amar Singh said Ajit Kumar passed out from Delhi's Ramjas College with "flying colours" in his BA Political Science (Hons). After that, he also passed his BEd examination and took up teaching job in a Delhi college.

With the Department of Personnel and Training offering him to absorb him in the Indian Railway Personnel Service, Singh said he filed a case against the alleged discrimination and CAT ruled in his favour in 2010 directing DoPT to comply within eight weeks.

Asked what turned things in his favour, Ajit Kumar said "I want to profusely thank Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. After my meeting with him was arranged on November 29 last year, things started moving fast. I got the offer letter on January 16 but the final order was given to me only on February 14".

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