Pranjal Patil, who is the first visually-impaired woman to be recruited in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), became the sub-collector of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on Monday, October 14. After taking over the office, Patil addressed the press where she thanked everyone and also said she expected a lot of support from the people and her staff.
She said, "I am feeling extremely glad and proud to take the charge. As I start wroking I will know about the subdivision and the district and plan on what to do about the issues." When asked to send a message for those who look up to her, she said, "We should never be defeated and we should never give up. Because with our efforts all of us will get that one breakthrough which we want."
Patil, who hails from Ulhannagar in Maharashtra, also said that she expected a lot of support and cooperation from multiple stakeholders, including her staff and the general public. She said, "I will be in need and expect a lot of support and cooperation from people of Trivandrum and obviously my own staff and everybody to work efficiently and to be able to work for the people."
Patil was born with weak eyesight and she lost her vision completely at the age of six. However, the difficulties did not stop her from pursuing her dreams. She studied International Relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) reportedly, from her very first day at the university she had decided to make a career in public service, according to media reports. She cleared her Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) exams in her first attempt itself and secured a job in the Indian Railways Account Service (IARS) but 100% blindness meant that she could not do the job. She gave another attempt and secured 124th rank.
Krishna Gopal Tiwari, in 2014, became the first visually-challenged Collector in India.