A 23-year-old visually impaired prodigy, Tapaswini Das cracked Odisha's Civil Services Examination in her first attempt. She also managed to secure the 161st position in the state civil services exam, which was conducted in 2019 by the Public Service Commission.
Tapaswini was in second grade when she lost her eyesight to a surgery that was meant to restore her vision. However,16 years after this incident, she appeared as a general candidate for the state civil services exams.
Unlike UPSC where there's a reservation for visually-impaired people, she still choose to appear under the general category.
I expected to sail through the examination. Strong determination and patience are required to achieve success and I was determined to crack the exam in my first attempt.
Her father, Arun Das who's a retired government official, told The Indian Express that Tapaswini cleared for the OCS exam without any coaching. However, Tapiswini opened up about the struggles she faced while prepping for the exams:
People who have clear eyesight, they can read from books directly. But I had to depend on recordings of several books that I stored in my laptop. I used to books scanned and turn it into audio format. I have never shied away from challenges in life. So I told myself let’s give it a try.
This is not the first time a visually challenged person has cracked the state civil service exam. In 2017, 8 visually-challenged candidates made it to the list after the Highcourt allowed them to appear for the exams.