“You never fail. You either win, or you learn” says K. Lalith (AIR 626; CSE 2018 Person with disability – Low Vision)

23 years old K. Lalith, hailing from Andhra Pradesh has achieved extraordinary success in Civil Services Examination 2018 despite being visually impaired.

This was his second attempt and he secured AIR 626 with Commerce and Accountancy as optional subject.

“I am visually impaired since childhood, never mind!"

"Who needs sensory site, to take off on the dream flight?”

This is the way K. Lalith (AIR 626; CSE 2018) looks at his life and has found his way to reach his destination.

Showing gratitude towards his parents he said, “My parents never allowed me to feel the physical deprivation and always treated me as a normal child.”

Lalith has done his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya and Delhi public School, Ranchi, and graduated from Shri Ram College of commerce in 2016. Currently, he is pursuing my master's degree from the Department of Commerce; Delhi School of Economics.K-Lalith-UPSC-Topper-CSE-2018-626th-Rank-PwD-Low-Vision

Initially He wanted to become a science student; but, due to his visual impairment and lack of long-term career choices, He took commerce. But, soon his interest in the subject increased and he never looked back. And his decision proved him right and he went on to crack Civil Services Examination with Commerce and Accountancy as optional subject.

Revealing some of the realities he confronted with Lalith said, “The One of the greatest challenges to me in school, college, as well as Civil Services preparation was availability of study material in the accessible format. I cannot read physical books therefore I completely relied on e-material and audio recordings of lectures.”

“Initially my mother used to read out all my course books and I use to record the same and revise it only through listening and memorization.  Subsequently, due to my increased syllabus and availability of online material, thanks to information technology, her task became a tad simpler.”

“I use a screen reading software called job access with speech (JAWS, which reads out whatever comes on the computer screen). He added.

I am unable to write my own tests and it used to be a tough task to find a competent scribe for my exams.  At times it used to be a daunting task to convince somebody to become my writer because of the lack of awareness in the society to help the differently-abled.K-Lalith-UPSC-Topper-CSE-2018-626th-Rank-PwD-Low-VisionHaving said that, I would like to thank my scribe without whose selfless dedication I couldn't have achieved this feat.

I would like to thank my friends Amit, Vasu, Prashant, Ankush Barsha who stood as steady pillars during my ups and downs.

People are asking me; how do I feel? 

I feel very fortunate for gaining a platform where I am getting opportunity for working on such a big platform.

My contribution back to the development of this society can be tangible and positive. I will possibly work with the Government of India towards ensuring a future with equal opportunities for all.

I have been immensely blessed to have gotten a very supportive environment at home, and parents who, against all odds, always encouraged me to "Aspire to Inspire".

The journey has certainly not been hunky-dory all along; but, I am highly grateful to the almighty force of nature, which helped me to stumble upon such a wonderful set of friends, mentors, and institutions that enriched my perspective in life.

I got a lot of exposure early on as I have travelled across the country, thanks to my father who is in the IRSE; Government of India, and my mother, who left behind, countless opportunities for a highly valued career, in order to ensure that my needs and wants including my sparkling academic pursuit could see the light of this day.K-Lalith-UPSC-Topper-CSE-2018-626th-Rank-PwD-Low-Vision

Advice to Future Aspirants

I would like to say that nothing is impossible for any individual because each one of us has their own set of abilities and skills waiting to be discovered.

All we need is clarity of purpose and quality of guidance coupled with a supportive family, positive peer group, and sufficient exposure.

Trust me: You never fail. You either win, or you learn.

No matter what comes your way; if you are determined to aspire, then sooner or later you shall achieve.

If I can do it, then you definitely can!

On Tuesday 9th April 2019     

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