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Being blind is not a challenge but a powerful tool, says Chennai man who cleared UPSC

Bala Nagendran, the 27-year-old from Chennai, who cleared the UPSC exams this year, says that he made up his mind to become an IAS officer when he was seven years old.

Born 100% visually impaired, Bala has secured the 923rd rank at the all-India level. He said that he never felt that being blind was challenge, but that it was a powerful tool as it made him realize the importance of having inner-vision.

For Bala, the challenge lay in the fact that there were such few Braille books available for UPSC aspirants in the market. He had to get the books converted to Braille form, which was both time-consuming and costly. He used Google and ebooks to prepare for the exams.

Bala, who took the exams four time before he cleared it, says he never gave up on his dreams. His father, a retired soldier, drives a taxi to support the family while his mother is a home maker.

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