The topper of the UPSC exams, 2014, Ira Singhal, showed the world she is no less. Be it in physical terms or mental. She is an inspiration for many.
Four years back, in 2010, her candidature was cancelled for the Indian revenue services, due to her disability. But, now she is in different era after being topper in IAS exam.
The Delhi based 31-year-old Ira Singhal who has topped the UPSC exam in her fourth attempt in 2014 has become the first physically challenged woman to top the civil services exam in the general category.
Ira has scoliosis, or curvature of the spine since her birth.The biggest irony is that on physical and medical grounds, Ira is ineligible to be an Indian Revenue Services Officer, a clerk or a sweeper.
“This is a great moment for me and my family. I think after this people will respect women more and specially disabled women,” exclaimed Ira.
Ira Singhal is currently posted as an Assistant Commissioner in the Customs & Excise department of the Indian Revenue Services.
“It was a big disappointment, a major setback then. But I decided to fight back. It was tough initially as I had to undergo tests, submit medical certificates and prove that I am capable of doing jobs entrusted to me in the IRS. For two years, it was tough but then everyone realized that I am capable of working in spite of the disabilities. They realized I am no pushover,” Ira Singhal told Indian Express recalling the 2010 episode.
“I want to be an IAS officer. I want to do something for the benefit of physically-handicapped people,” said an elated Ira Singhal.
Ms. Singhal has earlier worked as a Spanish teacher for a year, as well as a manager in Cadbury India, and a marketing intern in beverage giant The Coca Cola Company. She holds an MBA in Marketing from Delhi University’s Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), and a BE in Computer Engineering from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT).