“I worked for the past five years while preparing for the civil service exam. I couldn’t enroll in a coaching center because I never had time,” Ayushi said. , 29, a visually impaired public school teacher who passed the UPSC civil service exam in 2021. On his fifth attempt, Ayushi achieved an All India ranking of 48.
A resident of Rani Khera village in North West Delhi, Ayushi graduated from Deen Bandhu Sir Chotu Ram Government School, Ghevra in 2008. In 2009, she enrolled in the Elementary Teacher Training Course, a two-year course at the District Education and Training Institute. (DIET) in Keshav Puram. At DIET, she was inspired to pursue a career in teaching, marking a turning point in her life.
In 2011, she enrolled in a BA (Programme) course at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee College, University of Delhi and started working as a teacher in 2012. , Rani Khera, till 2016. In 2016, I ‘passed the exam for assistant teacher position organized by Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) and taught at Government Sarvodaya Co-Education Vidyalaya, Rani Khera till 2019,’ she said.
But her education didn’t stop once she started teaching. In 2016, Ayushi completed her master’s degree in history from Indira Gandhi National Open University. She eventually obtained a Bachelor of Education (2017-2019) from Jamia Millia Islamia.
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With four degrees under her belt, Ayushi finished top of the DSSSB exam for the post of Lecturer, History, in October 2019. Since then, she has been teaching at Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Mubarakpur Dabas, in the north -West Delhi.
Ayushi credits his mother Asha Rani (54) for his success today: “It was my mother who suggested that I take the civil service exam. A senior nurse in the Delhi health department, Rani has opted for voluntary retirement in 2020 to look after her daughter as she prepares for the exam. “I had complete confidence in my daughter’s ability to pass the exam,” she said.
Ayushi’s first attempt was in 2016. “As a person with a disability, my strategy for the exam was slightly different from that of other candidates. When I started preparing five years ago, there weren’t too many resources available online. I would buy study material at the market and my whole family would record it on their cell phones for me to listen to,” she said.
Ayushi’s father, Ashok Kumar (58), chief distributor at Hill India Ltd, Bhatinda, his mother, his younger brother Kumud (26), an excise officer in Gujarat, and his friends were involved in this company. “It was teamwork,” she said.
Eventually, she learned to use “z/OS,” screen-reading software that translates text into audio that she could access on her phone and laptop.
The UPSC exam only provides two state frameworks for candidates with different abilities – Delhi and Haryana. Ayushi applied for both, Delhi being her first preference, and she wants to work in education. “As a teacher, I realized the role of education as a tool for empowerment. I want to contribute to this field guided by my own experiences,” she said.
As a disabled woman and a teacher, Ayushi recognizes the challenges that aspirants like her face daily. However, she wants all seekers with different abilities to have faith and confidence in their abilities. “Don’t let negative ideas enter your brain when you’re preparing. See criticism as a way to push yourself forward,” she said.
She also wants parents of children with disabilities to believe in their children and provide them with an education instead of abandoning them, and that women with disabilities always aim higher and break the glass ceiling. “I was very lucky that my parents trusted me,” she said.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing poetry: “I write poems in Hindi and English and my favorite poet is Ram Dhari Singh Dinkar. And I love to read books, especially those by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.