Two 100 % visually-impaired candidates clear Odisha Civil Services- The New Indian Express

Express Message Service

BHUBANESWAR/SAMBALPUR: He may be 100% visually impaired, but Prachurya Pradhan, 25, from Boden, Nuapada, had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve – to become a civil servant.
Prachurya passed the 2020 Odisha Civil Services Examination in his first attempt with a rank of 292, the results of which were announced by the Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) on Friday.

He currently works as Assistant General Manager (Finance) at Odisha Mining Corporation and was one of the two fully visually impaired candidates to pass the State Administrative Service Examination. The other contestant is Prasanna Kumar Panda, who placed 266th. He is doing his PhD at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Prachurya is also pursuing a PhD in Commerce from Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, after qualifying for the National Eligibility Test (NET) and Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). He previously completed his BCom from National College, Nuapada and PG from IGNOU. He has also completed his two IPCC groups so far and will be taking his final CA exam.

Prachurya, a chess player who won the silver medal at the 3rd Asian Para Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia, was congratulated on his performance by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He’s even associated with Project Checkmate, a Delhi-based international organization that works as a brand ambassador to promote chess among blind and underprivileged children.

He is the first Odia blindfold chess player to receive an international FIDE rating and to qualify for the National A Chess Championship for the blind. In 2012, Prachurya was awarded the State Award for Individual Excellence in Bhubaneswar by Prime Minister Naveen Pattnaik. “Coming from a backward district, I’ve always wanted to be an administrator who would allow me to do something for my region,” he said.

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Prasanna, who belongs to the district of Khurda, has tried the state civil service examination for the second time. His first attempt was in 2019. He had also unsuccessfully attempted the UPSC exam.
“When I was in Class VII of the Red Cross School for the Blind in Bhawanipatna, I met the then Collector who went out of his way to organize various career counseling and confidence building workshops for disabled students. I was inspired by him and asked him if a blind collector could become one. He said a physical disability isn’t a deterrent when you’re committed and confident about cracking public service. I still follow his words today,” said Prasanna, who is from Balugaon near Chilika.
After completing his schooling at Bhima Bhoi School for Blind and college education at BJB College, he moved to New Delhi to study at JNU School of International Studies. He completed his PG last year.

On occasion, Prasanna said he would like to work for the Koraput-Balangir-Kalahandi region. He also wants to contribute to the development of tourism in Chilika and the socio-economic development of the communities dependent on the lake. “Coming from a village near Chilika, I know the fishing community’s existential struggles. I want to bring a change in their lives,” he said.

Aside from Prasanna and Prachurjya, who are 100 percent visually impaired, four other blind candidates (with 40 to 60 percent blindness) are among the 392 to pass the prestigious exam.
President of the Odisha Association for the Blind and Odisha’s First Visually Impaired OAS Officer Sanyas Behera congratulated the rank holders. A total of 15 disabled candidates passed the exam.

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