Visually-impaired Delhi school teacher cracks UPSC at fifth attempt, ranks 48th
Ayushi, who teaches history at a Delhi government school, has secured the 48th rank in the Civil Services exam 2021, the results of which were declared by the Union Public Services Commission on Monday. Blind since birth, the 29-year-old did not allow the challenges of her disability to daunt her. The Rani Khera resident cracked the prestigious examination in her fifth attempt preparing for the competitive exam while simultaneously performing her duties as a teacher.
An overjoyed Ayushi said that while she was confident about clearing the examination, securing a rank below 50 was a pleasant surprise. “My dream has come true. It’s a surreal feeling to know that my name is on the list of the top 50. Everyone is happy for me. I feel blessed,” said Ayushi.
She completed her schooling from a private school in her village Rani Khera and graduated from Delhi University’s Shyama Prasad Mukherji College. Later, she pursued a Master’s degree in history from IGNOU. “I come from an ordinary family. Growing up, my goal was to simply secure a job. In 2016, I started preparing for the examination with support from my mother,” said Ayushi.
Her father works with a private firm in Punjab while her mother is a homemaker. Her husband is currently pursuing an MBA from Australia. She gave credit for her success to her mother who took voluntary retirement from her post as a senior nursing officer in 2020. “I was pursuing my job while preparing for civil services. To support my preparations, my mother retired from her job. Difficulties are always there but I was able to overcome them due to support from my mother and family. They used to record the content of books for me so that I could study from my notes,” said Ayushi.
Her mother Asha Rani (54) said that she was confident that her daughter would qualify for the exam. “While God may have deprived her of her vision, he also showed her a path. Despite challenges, she has emerged a winner against all odds. I am proud of her for not giving up,” said Asha.
A teacher for the past ten years, Ayushi started her journey as a contractual primary school teacher in an MCD school. After clearing the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) examination in 2019, she took up her current job as a history teacher. At present, she teaches history to students in classes 11 and 12 at the Government Girls Senior Secondary School, number 2, Mubarakpur Dabas.
Her phone has not stopped ringing since the declaration of results. Congratulatory messages have been pouring in from her friends and family since yesterday. “As a blind teacher, I have put a lot of effort into teaching my students. Teaching is my passion; it’s not just a job for me. My students are very happy for me,” said Ayushi, who wants to join the Indian Administration Services (IAS) and opt for DANICS or Haryana cadre. She plans to work in the field of education for girls and differently-abled individuals.
“Education is a tool of empowerment. I’d especially like to work towards girls’ education and inspire differently abled individuals. I will strive to change people’s opinions about differently-abled people. No stigma should be associated with disability. We need to change the societal attitude towards disability. Differently-abled individuals can achieve all goals,” said Ayushi.