The Motivating Journey of India’s First Visually Challenged IAS Officer, Pranjal Patil.

If you have the willpower and the passion to succeed in life, nothing can block your path. You will climb the ladders of success and turn into an inspiration for many. Something similar is the life story of Pranjal Patil, India’s first visually impaired IAS officer.

Fighting against all odds, Pranjal never let her physical inability prevent her from achieving her goals. Her life is a living example for all who give up easily and shy away from trying one more time.

Pranjal, who took charge as the Sub-Collector of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala in October 2019, believes that consistent efforts always lead to success. A peek into her life and you will realize the power of not giving up and fighting hard.

The Big Loss & Life’s New Turn

Hailing from the city of Ulhasnagar in Maharashtra, Pranjal was just 6 years old when she lost her eyesight. It was a tough phase for her entire family, they were shattered to see young Pranjal in such a state. However, she didn’t lose hope.

With an aim to not give up, she got admission to the Kamala Mehta School for the blind in Dadar, Mumbai where she studied through brail. She studied in this school till 10th and later joined the Chandabai College from where she completed her 12th in Arts scoring 85%.

Focused on studies, Pranjal continued with her efforts. To complete graduation, she joined the St. Xavier’s College and studied Political Science. Post her graduation, she went to Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi where she joined for an integrated M.Phil and Ph.D. program.

The Major Setback

Pranjal had decided to study hard and get into civil services. She started preparing for the exam and cleared UPSC in 2016, in her very first attempt. She secured AIR-773 and expected to get a good job offer. However, she was disappointed when the Indian Railways refused to give her a job in the Accounts Services citing the reason she was visually impaired.

Pranjal was hurt but she didn’t allow the rejection to deter her from her aim.

The Turning Point

Pranjal had studied on her own without undergoing any coaching for the Civil Services Examination. She prepared seeking help from special software that read books for her. To strengthen her preparation for the UPSC exams, Pranjal used to solve the mock test papers and participate in the group discussions.

After losing out on the job from Railway, she continued with her UPSC preparation as she had decided to fight a second time.

She had made up her mind to appear for the 2017 Civil Services Examination. All her efforts paid off when in the second attempt she secured AIR-124 and life changed for better when she got herself a place in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

As a Kerala cadre IAS officer, she served as an Assistant Collector in Kerala’s Ernakulam for a period of one year and then took charge as the Sub-Collector of Thiruvanthapuram.

Speaking of her inspiring journey, Pranjal says, “We should never be defeated, and never give up. With our efforts, we all will get that one big breakthrough that we want”.

Pranjal has proved where there is a will, there is always a way. Her fighting spirit and a never-give-up attitude are really inspiring and we salute her. We hope she continues with her success tales and achieves many milestones.