Jayant Mankale, a visually impaired 25-year-old and the son of water pump operator cleared the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination this year, securing an all India rank (AIR) of 923.
Mankale, a resident of Beed, studied mechanical engineering from Amrutvahini College of Engineering, Sangamner and cracked the civil service exam in his fourth attempt in the specially abled category. He now hopes to land his dream job in the Indian Foreign Service (IFS).
Mankale lost 75 per cent of his vision after suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare, genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina which leads to loss of vision.
However, his determination to crack the UPSC exam never faltered and he pushed on without any coaching.However, the situation grew dim when he has lost his father. His mother and sister came forward and took over all the financial burden of the family on their shoulders.His mother and sister sold handmade pickles, masala and other food items to make ends meet.
Mankale said,“I could not afford audio books or a screen reader. Therefore, I started listening various debates on the radio, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV. I took pictures of pages through my mobile and often zoomed in to read them.I have never read a National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) book and I couldn’t use hand-written notes, which made preparation very difficult.”
Despite his mother’s business, Mankale’s family faced a serious financial crisis. They were unable to repay the loan taken for Mankale’s college education and it was difficult to get by on his father’s pension of Rs.7,300.
Given the situation, Mankale,approached Pravin Chavan and Manohar Bhole for UPSC guidance, which they offered free of cost.
But after overcoming all these hurdles,Mankale is ready to join his dream job and give back to the community. But first, he plans to pay off his pesky his education loan.