Beno Zephine, First 100% Blind IFS Officer – Inspiring Story

25-year-old Beno Zephine is a rockstar in her own right. She made history as she is India’s first fully visually impaired person to be working in the Indian Foreign Services. She was born and brought up in Chennai. Beno did her schooling from well known Little Flower Convent Higher Secondary School for the blind. In college, she went on to do a major in English. She obtained her degree from Stella Maris College and her post-graduation from Loyola college. She did her Ph.D. from Bhartiyar University in English. She in her interview said that cracking the UPSC is hard but not impossible. With the right kind of methodology and the right kind of approach, it is possible to achieve it.

In spite of losing in her first attempt, she didn’t give up hope. The second time she tried in 2013-14 and she got through. She said that in her first attempt she really worked hard and in the second attempt she found it much easier than before.
Her wall of support was her family and her friends.

She said that her father got her all the books and her mother used to read out to her. Her father Luke Anthony Charles, who worked in the railways and mother Mary Padmaja, a homemaker, ensured that she got what she needed. She has a brother who lives with his wife in Canada.

She also shares the credit for her success to her school teachers. There was a positive force that drove her to success. The whole dynamics around her worked in such a way that everyone had trust in her and her capabilities to achieve something big. Beno says that visually challenged people don’t have many books that are accessible in audio or in braille.

She further adds that although literature as a whole is more easily available for visually-challenged people books for civil service aspirants are hardly sufficient.

For her preparation, she used special software that allowed her to read from the screen. During preparation, her mother would read out to her and also prepared by scanning the required papers on to her computer. But even these things are hard enough when it comes to the huge amount of material that civil services aspirants read through.
She is a great inspiration for those who dream to achieve this dream.

Although she cleared the civil services exam it had taken a while for the summons to come from the External Ministry. Till that time Beno was working in the State Bank of India and she made sure that her experience and confidence benefitted other aspirants with a similar dream. She has always been inspiring others through motivational speeches given in IAS academies.

In all her speeches, there was one thing common that one has to understand himself and identify his potential. It is very important to have self-confidence.

It was told to Beo that she was eligible for the IFS but since the post has never been given to any 100% blind person so far they had to make some procedural changes.

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  1. My heartiest Congratulations to Beno Zephine. We salute your Grit and determination . You are most welcome to visit Institute for Social and Economic Change Nagarbhavi Bengaluru

    Dr Srinath

  2. My heartiest Congratulations to Beno Zephine. We salute your Grit and determination . You are most welcome to visit Institute for Social and Economic Change Nagarbhavi Bengaluru , May be my Director had also commented Dr Srinath Registrar

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