Pranjal Patil, India's first visually impaired woman IAS officer, has taken over as the Sub-Collector of Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram. Ms Patil, 30, made history last year when she received her first appointment as Assistant Collector in Kerala's Ernakulam.
"We should never be defeated. We should not give up. Because with all our efforts, we will definitely get that one breakthrough moment that we are waiting for," Ms Patil said while speaking to media on her first day at the office of Thiruvananthapuram's Sub Collector.
Ms Patil said that she will chalk out a plan of action for the city's administration.
"I have just been transferred to Thiruvananthapuram. I will take time to understand the district, look into the various departments and then chalk out plan of action," Ms Patil told media on Monday.
Ms Patil, despite cracking the civil services exam, was refused an appointment at Indian Railway Accounts Services in 2016, according to reports. However, a determined Patil cracked the civil services examination again and improved her ranking in her second attempt.
Her friends say that Ms Patil was an extremely determined and hard-working student in her college days.
"Pranjal was extremely determined. It was a big deal for some of us to even reach an early lecture in college, but Pranjal would make her way on time," M Saraswathy, her classmate from college said.
"She actively participated in all discussions at our Political Science class in St Xavier's in Mumbai. And we both studied on the same campus - she at JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) and I at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication. Even there I saw the same determination, no hand-holding attitude," Ms Saraswathy added.
Ms Patil, who belongs to Maharashtra's Ulhasnagar, had lost her vision when she was just six years old. She cracked the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination in 2016 and secured 773rd rank and improved her ranking to 124 the next year, news agency PTI reported.
Ms Patil was appointed Ernakulam Assistant Collector during her training period.