CHENNAI: It was four years back that D Balanagendran first cracked the UPSC exams. He secured the 927th rank, and was offered Group-A services. He, however, did not take it up. His eyes were set on his real goal — the Indian Administrative Services. He cracked the exams once again in 2017, but missed his goal by a narrow margin of 1 mark.
With an unshakeable confidence of eventually becoming an IAS officer, Balanagendran brushed aside these failures and kept pursuing his ambition. No hurdle was insurmountable. Not even the fact that Balanagendran is visually impaired. “I never felt it to be a hurdle, because I was born this way,” says the 31-year-old, while speaking to Express on Tuesday, hours after the UPSC results were released.
This time, he managed to secure an impressive 659th rank, thereby qualifying for the IAS. “I studied in Little Flower Convent in Nungambakkam and one of my teachers inspired me to become an IAS officer. In my career, too, visual impairment will never be an issue. I encourage others to aim high and try,” he beams.
When asked about the most difficult phase in his life, he quickly says: “Though I have been trying for this since 2011, missing the opportunity by just one mark was a bitter feeling.” Being the first graduate in his family, education has always been a priority for Balanagendran. “Probably that is why it took me nine years. For others in my family, who wish to write UPSC exams, I will be there to help,” he says. “Before I retire, I want to play a significant role in eradicating crimes against children,” he adds.