New Delhi: Unfolding an inspiring and struggle filled journey of a visually impaired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, a book “I: Putting the Eye in IAS” reflects the author’s life but is not an autobiography.
Having cleared the Civil Services examination in the year 2006, Rajesh Singh was appointed as an IAS after a long legal battle and intervention of the Supreme Court.
“Initially, it was very difficult to convince the whole system. There was reluctance on the part of the system to induct an IAS officer who is 100 per cent blind… Finally it was the judgment of the Supreme Court which made it clear that there is difference between eyesight and vision. To become an IAS you need vision and not eyesight,” he said as his book was released recently.
Launched by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan, the book is a work of fiction based on the journey of a young visually impaired boy from Patna. He fought against tremendous odds and put all his efforts to prepare for Civil Services examination.
Speaking at the launch, Sumitra Mahajan said,” Creativity, ability and skills of differently abled and other marginalized sections of the society should not be wasted. As a pluralistic society, we must be more sensitive to the specific requirements of different segments.”
Serving as the Joint Secretary, Department of Woman and Child Development and Social Security, Jharkhand and Project Director, Integrated Child Protection Scheme, Jharkhand, Mr Singh said that the real challenge was to prepare for the exams after which he had to go through the legal process.
“The real challenge comes when you prepare for the exam. But I was lucky enough to have so many friends around. I had to go through a lot of legal tangles. But it’s not about bad or good people but it is about how people perceive visual impairment and to what extent they take you as an unavoidable asset for this nation,” Mr Singh said.
Having graduated from Delhi University and completed his MA from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), where he was a Junior Research Fellow, Mr Singh feels that JNU is a laboratory for experiment of ideas and ideologies but criticized any kind of anti-national activities.
“JNU has always been a very happening place. It’s a laboratory for experiment for so many ideas and ideologies. If some anti-national slogans have been raised here, I criticize it,” he said.
“But somewhere down the line I would always say that JNU has given me a lot. It has improved my personality, my vision and the kind of equality I have seen at JNU, it is unmatched in the whole country,” Mr Singh said.