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IAS: Physically challenged youth cracks UPSC exam

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A physically challenged youth, suffering from cerebral palsy since his birth, overcame all odds to crack the civil services examination this year.

Fulfilling his long-cherished dream, Ashish Kumar Verma (26) secured the 726th rank in the coveted examination results of which were announced late last week.

"I did not let my handicap come in way of my preparation for the examination," he said. "I just concentrated on my studies just like any other student and succeeded."

The wheelchair-bound Ashish said he faced certain difficulties in going out of his home to places such as coaching institutes, but he made it up by doing self-study. "I did not attend any coaching classes but I studied for 12 to 14 hours every day to qualify in the civil services."

Ashish, who opted for History and Hindi Literature as his main subjects in the examination, said that he had never let his disability get the better of him as a student in the past. "I have always had a positive attitude," he said.

The Patna-based youth said that he was happy to note that none of the members of the interview board asked him anything about his handicap. "I was treated as any other candidate," he stated.

Ashish's attitude had helped him attain better academic results over the years. After performing exceptionally well in his school examinations, he got the third rank in the Hindi (Honours) examination at Patna College and followed it up by becoming a topper in the post-graduation examination at Patna University. "I also qualified in the National Eligibility Test (NET) in 2008," Ashish said.

Ashish, son of a postal department official, said he was doing a PhD in Hindi when the UPSC results were announced. "I am at present doing a doctoral research on the works of the noted Hindi writer Dharmvir  Bharti," he said.

He stated that he would like to appear in the civil services examination again to improve his rank. "Though I will join whatever central service is allotted to me this year, I would like to give the examination another shot," he added.

Ashish said that his parents, Satish Chandra Prasad and Neelam Sinha, as well as his elder brother uncle, friends and teachers encouraged him a lot during his preparation. "They all motivated me at every stage to help me achieve my goal," he added.

Ashish, who hails from Nawada district in Bihar, said that he had always aspired to join the civil services since his school days."But it was only after qualifying the NET that I concentrated on the UPSC examination," he added.

Ashish said that he would like to tell all the physically challenged civil service aspirants that they should not let any negative thought get the better of them. "If they truly want to achieve success, a positive approach is a must," he said.

A lover of Hindi, he said that he regularly wrote poems, stories and articles in the language in his spare time. "Writing poem is a passion for me and one of them is the philosophy of my life, "Life is a festival, celebrate it. Every inch of this earth is fertile, grow flowers on it," he said.


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