Mani Ram cleared the IAS not once or twice, but three times, but he was not selected on the grounds that he was completely deaf. So Mani Ram got a surgical cochlear implant, which made him partially deaf, and he cleared the IAS again and qualified.
Mani Ram has fought for 15 years to get into the IAS. In 2005 when he cleared the UPSC exams for the 1st time, they turned him away saying he is completely deaf, and they only take partially deaf candidates. But the man did not lose heart, he got a cochlear implant done and cleared the exam again. But this time they told him his hearing was too good for the disability category. But Maniram did not give up, after a few technical clarifications, he has finally made it to the IAS.
"There are faults in the system, which have to be set right. Fourteen years ago when I became a clerk they sent me away saying my hearing is impaired. When I was qualified to be a lecturer, I was once again told that my hearing was impaired and asked to go," said Mani Ram.
Mani Ram's is a genetic disorder. Thirty five people in his family are deaf. In his IAS interview, he said his hobby was to dream dreams. When they asked him what that meant, he said he wanted to help people in his family overcome their deafness.
"I was asked in an interview what are my dreams. I told them I don't dream big. A majority of my family members can't hear properly. I want them to be cured the way I was so that they too can start studying," he said.
From a boy who started losing his hearing at five to being completely deaf at nine. Mani Ram's is a story of how the never-say-die spirit helped him overcome his disability.