CHENNAI: Since Tuesday morning, Purana Sunthari’s phone has not stopped ringing. With the deluge of calls of messages of congratulations overwhelming her, the 25-year-old visually impaired woman from Madurai, who has cracked the UPSC examination and secured 286th All India Rank, says she couldn’t believe she cracked the civil services exam.
“I just turned numb when I got to know the results. I kept asking my family to check it multiple times. This is my fourth attempt at the exam, and I am over the moon now,” says Purana, who took coaching classes in Chennai. “I started dreaming of becoming an IAS officer when I was in Class XI. I want to serve in areas such as Education, Health and Women Empowerment.” The visual impairment was an impediment preventing herfrom becoming what she always wanted to, she says, adding that her friends and family, however, helped her overcome the hurdle.
“I would not get all the study materials in audio format. So, my parents would read books for me day and night, and my friends helped convert a few books into audio format. They would even find helpful material and subscribe to it for me. It is all of them, who has now made me an IAS officer,” said Purana.
However, staying motivated was one of the major challenges for her as exams would happen throughout the year. “I have been working as a clerk at Tamil Nadu Grama Bank.
For UPSC, we have different exams throughout the year and prepare for all of them with the same determination.” Giving a tip to fellow IAS aspirants, Purana advises them to not lose their individuality as that helps in the interview. “Aim high, irrespective of whatever the hurdles that may come in your way,” is her magic spell for success.