Strong determination, will-power and focus can take you to unfathomable heights, no matter in whatever condition you are. The same has been reflected in UPSC topper and Delhi-based girl Ira Singhal&’s life.

The race to the top rank was not just a fight against her disability, but against the system which once refused her the posting.

“As bureaucracy is the backbone of the country, I would like to work for children, women and physically challenged people,” Singhal said in an exclusive interview to thestatesman.com.

Ira, 31, became the first differently-abled candidate to secure the top rank in general category in the UPSC exams who achieved this feet in her fourth attempt.

“Right now, I am very happy, I can’t share my feelings in words, I am even shocked that I have achieved the top rank. And I want to thank my parents and all the people who supported me throughout my journey,” Ira said adding,“I wanted to become an IAS officer since my childhood, so I started preparing for the civil services exams from 2010, and now I am happy that I will soon join as an IAS officer.”

Highlighting her setback in 2010, when she was refused for posting citing her disability, Ira said, “In 2010, I cleared the exams, but was refused for posting due to my disability. I felt disappointed but I decided to fight back and my parents supported me. And I proved myself to them that I am capable of working due to which I was given appointment in 2014.”

Currently, Ira is posted in Hyderabad as an Assistant Commissioner in the Customs and Excise department of the Indian Revenue Services (IRS).

Ira completed her studies in marketing from the Faculty of Management Studies from Delhi University in 2008. She holds a degree in Computer Engineering from Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology (NSIT), Delhi.

Natively from Meerut, Ira has done her schooling from Sophia Girls School in Meerut, but passed her 10th examination from Loreto Convent School in Delhi as her parents moved to the capital city. Later, Ira moved to Army Public School for her 12th standard.