Sharika triumphs over physical limitations, conquers civil services

Sharika cracked the exam on her second attempt; she could not clear the Mains in the first.
Sharika sharing her joy with family after the results of the civil services examination were announced.
Sharika sharing her joy with family after the results of the civil services examination were announced.Photo | express

KOZHIKODE : In a remarkable display of resilience and determination, Sharika A K achieved a significant milestone on Tuesday when she cracked the prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS) examination, while overcoming the challenges posed by cerebral palsy.

The 23-year-old resident of Keezhariyur in Koyilandy has been battling cerebral palsy, a condition affecting her body’s normal functioning and coordination, since birth.

Though confined to a wheelchair and possessing limited mobility, Sharika, through sheer will and hard work, conquered the UPSC examination with an All-India Rank of 922 in the general merit list in her second attempt. Proving a turning point in her success journey was Sharika’s participation in ‘Project Chitrashalabham,’ a training programme initiated by Dr Jobin S Kottaram, author, motivational speaker and founder of Absolute IAS Academy. The initiative provided her with the necessary support and guidance to pursue her aspirations despite physical limitations.

Sharika cracked the exam in her second attempt; she could not clear the Mains in the first. “I will be attempting the exam again as I want to better my rank,” Sharika told TNIE. “I want every student with physical disabilities to overcome problems with the help of education as it can take us to new heights,” she said. 

Sharika’s story exemplifies the power of resilience, spirit in overcoming adversity

Recalling her childhood, Sharika said, “During my school days, when anyone asked what my ambition is, my reply would always be ‘software engineer’, as I found it more suited to my condition. I also harboured an interest in computers and technology. However, after higher secondary, I decided to purse higher studies in English literature as my condition forced me to join a college that was barely a few kilometres away from home. The financial situation at home also prevented me from travelling far for studies,” said Sharika.

“It was then I started learning more about civil services. I got coaching from some of the best mentors,” she said.

Throughout her journey, Sharika received unwavering support from her family, especially her parents Shashi A K and Rakhi, and sister Devika. Despite her father’s work commitments in Qatar, he made every effort to be present for Sharika’s exams, including accompanying her to the interview in New Delhi.

“Her success in the IAS exams is not just a personal victory but also an inspiration to countless individuals facing similar challenges,” said one of her mentors who reached her home to congratulate her on her achievement.

“Sharika’s story exemplifies the power of resilience and the unwavering human spirit in overcoming adversity and achieving one’s dreams,” the mentor said.

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The New Indian Express