The result of UPSC Civil Services Examination 2014 brought a pleasant surprise for every Indian. Ira Singhal had got the All India Rank 1. Her being woman and a topper in the toughest exam in India for the most prestigious post was just a minor stuff. It was her struggle and winning a battle against traumatic physical problem that makes every Indian proud of her. Ira Singhal is suffering from scoliosis. It is a disease where patient has lateral curvature to the straight vertical line of spine. It means severe disruption of the arm movement of the patient along with bending of the body. Ira fought with the nature and won this battle. She has been topper throughout her schooling.
Profile of Ira Singhal
Ira Singhal was born in Merrut. Her parents – Mr. Rajendra and Mrs. Anita Singhal realized the problem she has few years after her birth. When they came to know about the severity and the possibility of life long problem with physical movement, they decided to keep Ira in a positive shape of mind. They did everything and made it possible that Ira gets best possible education.
Ira first studied in Sophia Girls School, Meerut and later shifted to Army Public School in Delhi. She was topper in both of these two schools. After that, she took admission Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology and did B. Tech in Computer Science. She was selected in the campus interview, but decided to not go for that. She did MBA from Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi. She could have gone for IIM also, but her parents persuaded her to select a Delhi based business school so that she remained close to them.
In 2010, Ira cracked UPSC Civil Services Examination. Her rank was not so good and she could get IRS – her third choice. She completed training and when the time was up for posting, she got a crude reply from the Ministry of Finance. They said that because of her severe inability of pushing, lifting or even pulling, she is not fit for any posting. That was the most inhuman thing done by the Ministry. She wrote a letter to the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Commerce Minister with medical report which certifies her fit for job, without getting any reply. Media also took her cause, but there was no one to give any heed to her genuine issue.
A young girl who can become a role model of millions of physically handicap people was given inhuman treatment by the Government of India led by Manmohan Singh. By her very nature, Ira Singhal has always been a fighter. She filed a case in the Central Administrative Tribunal and won the case. After 4 years of this battle, she got the posting. Meanwhile, she appeared for two more times for UPSC without any success.
After getting the posting as an IRS, she decided to appear again. This time she got the first rank.
Ira Singhal is a story of inspiration where a differently-abled woman fought the toughest battle one can imagine and come out with flying colors. She is the first differently abled – Physically Handicapped – person to top the UPSC Civil Services Examination. Moreover, as you might know, there is reservation in the UPSC for PH Category candidate. You will be surprised to know that Ira Singhal has never used her PH status for reservation. She is topper as a General Category candidate, not under any sort of reservation which she could have easily gotten.
After the result, Ira said:
I want to be an IAS officer. I want to do something for the benefit of physically handicapped people.
If you want to see a living example of courage and perseverance, just read about Ira Singhal.
As rightly said by a journalist that because of short height – she is only 4 feets and five inches – and severe problem in the movement of her arm, Ira was not even eligible to apply for a sweeper job somewhere. But, she has now become an IAS officer, the most prestigious government job of India.
It is completely immaterial what she will do as an IAS officer. She has already inspired millions of those unfortunate Indians who are suffering from some physical problem. If there is a will, there will always be a way.
Family of Ira Singhal
Ira’s father Rajendra Singhal is an engineer and also a businessman. He is also a member of Delhi District Cricket Association. He is also a board member of Patanjali Yogpeeth.
Ira mother Anita Singhal is a home maker.
Ira is the only child of Rajendra and Anita Singhal. As mentioned above, when her parents realized about the physical issues of Ira, they decided to concentrate on her. They decided to not have any other baby otherwise they may have to divert attention from Ira. For Ira, they made lots of sacrifices. When Ira got the AIR 1 in the Civil Services, her father Rajendra was weeping. His emotion was on full display which was a combined form of love and happiness. Salute to you, Sir!
By caste, Ira Singhal is an Agarwal.
Husband of Ira Singhal
Ira is not married. She has never been any relationship. In an interview, she said that she will marry when she will find her soul mate.