Beno Zephine, born 100% visually impaired, was highly ambitious. After her post-graduation in English, she wanted to work for the External Affairs ministry of India. She diligently prepared for Civil Services Exam, supported by multiple coaching classes as well as her family who read aloud from non-braille books for endlessly hours. She also used a software, Job Access With Speech (JAWS), which helps visually impaired people read from a computer or smartphone.
Securing a rank of 343 in the exams, was only the first step. Many eligible candidates had lost out earlier, because of lack of 20-20 vision. There were parameters which had to be changed in the structure of the External Affairs ministry to admit her. After 5 months, Beno Zephine became India’s first Indian Foreign Service officer in 2015.
“It is vitally important to discard disability from the mind,” she said. We applaud her “Never say die” attitude in making an impossible dream possible.