Source: Hindustan Times

Inspirational story of Ummul Kher: Parents disowned this disabled girl for studying after class 8, she cracked UPSC exam

Video Story of Ummul Kher on Pragya TV Channel

16 fractures, 8 surgeries have not been able to break the spirit of Ummul Kher who has cracked the UPSC exam

Ummul Kher suffers from fragile bone disorder and her parents said they would ‘disown’ her if she stayed in school. She left home, got into JNU and is now set to become an IAS officer.

As someone living with fragile bone disorder since she was a kid, odds were always against Ummul Kher. When she was 14, her parents disowned her because she wanted to study beyond Class 8. What took her ahead was sheer merit and determination as she went on to get admission in a prestigious Delhi University college and later entered JNU for her master’s. This week she cracked the civil services exam in her first attempt.

Ummul Kher, 28, got all India rank 420. She now hopes to get IAS under disability quota.

Kher, who has received 16 fractures and eight surgeries due to her disease, came to Delhi from Rajasthan when she was around five years old. Her father then worked as street vendor selling clothes near Hazrat Nizamuddin while the family lived in a nearby slum.

Kher took admission in Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute for The Physically Handicapped, where she studies till Class 5. She later went to Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust where she studied till Class 8.

Life was difficult, but what came after that was “both difficult and painful” as Kher puts it.

She left home and took up a place in Jhuggi Jhopri (JJ) Cluster, Trilokpuri, for which she paid out of the money she earned from tuitions — a decision she feels was more difficult than cracking the civil services exam.

In 2012, she met a small accident and was confined to a wheelchair for a year due to her bone disorder.

After finishing her graduation, Kher cleared JNU entrance exam for master’s in International Studies. She was now getting Rs 2,000 means-cum-merit scholarship and did not have to give tuitions. In 2013, she cracked the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) under which she started getting Rs 25,000 per month.

Archna Upadhyay, a faculty member at JNU’s School of International Studies said the result was not surprising. “Despite her physical challenges she was always at a par with other students and excelled in both academics and extracurricular activities,” Upadhyay said.

Her parents are now back in Rajasthan where her brother runs a small bangle shop.

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