#GoodNews: 1st Visually Challenged Female IAS Officer Takes Charge

“My exposure to the culture of JNU helped build confidence in my mind to work for the right cause,” she said. 

2 min read

Video Producer: Srishti Tyagi
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman

"Never be defeated, Never give up", said Pranjal Patil, India’s first visually challenged woman IAS officer, as she assumed charge as the Sub Collector of Thiruvananthapuram on 14 October.

Patil is a political science graduate and she completed her Masters in international relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Pranjal secured 773rd rank in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination in 2016 and improved her rank to 124 in 2017.

Retinal detachment in both eyes at the age of eight led to Patil losing her eyesight but that did not deter the youngster from Ulhasnagar, Maharashtra, from pursuing her civil service dream. She however, received a major setback when she was refused a job in the Indian Railway Accounts Service on the grounds that she was visually challenged. 

“I had high powered glasses since I was a child, and then I lost sight in both my eyes in quick succession. Despite that, I was carrying on with my daily activities as usual, and because I was young, it didn’t impact me as such,” she told The Indian Express.

“We should never be defeated and we should never give up because with our efforts all of us will get that one breakthrough which we want.”
Pranjal Patil

Speaking to The Indian Express about what motivated her to pursue a career in civil services, Patil said, “My exposure to the culture of JNU helped build confidence in my mind to work for the right cause.”

Patil will hold the position of the Assistant Collector for a year as part of her training period. After her field-training in Kochi, she will head back to Mussoorie next year to wrap up her training, at the end of which she is expected to submit a dissertation.

After assuming office, Pranjal said that she was extremely glad and proud to take charge as the sub-collector and also expressed her desire to work for the welfare of the people.

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