UPSC 2014 topper, Ira Singhal deputy commissioner of Keshavpuram zone spoke out against the cyberbullying that she was subjected to over her physical condition of scoliosis.
In a conversation with Republic Media Network, Singhal said that there is a need for 'change in mindset' towards differently-abled people. She further added that she does not feel bad about her disability and that if she felt bad, that would demoralise specially-abled people.
She said, "I didn't feel bad. Why should I feel bad for being specially-abled? They trolled me for being specially-abled but why should I feel bad for that? I don't think it's bad to be disabled. If I feel bad, I will demoralise specially-abled people. I haven't commented anything on trolls any day.
Speaking over the trolling, she said, "It was a picture of an event I attended, that is it, there was nothing more. There was no conversation. Just randomly someone commented."
The inspirational civic officer told Republic that it is the 'insecurity' that brings out the discrimination towards differently-abled people.
She said, "In our country, people don't think about being positive, especially when it comes to disability. Maybe we are so insecure that we are satisfied only when we put others down. The discrimination with the disabled has more to do with them and less to do with us."
"People need to change their mindset. People tend to release their negativity in social media only but they should change their mindset. The purpose of social media is that people hide behind anonymity. But I don't care. It's not like this happened to me only, this is happening with many people every day," she added.
The UPSC topper highlighted that she won't file a complaint against the trollers and that there is a need to look at disabled people beyond their disabilities.
She said, "We need to recognise this that people with disabilities are not just their disabilities, they have their abilities. The focus on disability must be removed."
"I don't want to do any complaint against anyone, want them to change their mindset towards specially-abled people. I want people to stop for a second and think before saying. There is a need for introspection and self-analysis." she added.
The UPSC topper earlier on Saturday, in her Facebook post said, "For anyone who thinks people with disabilities don't have to face anything, as the world is nice and kind - just sharing someone's comments from my Instagram account. A face of cyber-bullying. Unfortunately someone who cannot be bullied is being attempted to be bullied. And this is probably a person who wants to be a Civil Servant. This is why we need Inclusive Schools and this is why we need our education system to focus on producing better human beings more than anything else."