Home EDUCATION From a slum dweller battling brittle bone (OI) to an IAS

From a slum dweller battling brittle bone (OI) to an IAS

Ummul Khair

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

-Helen Keller

This quote has been recently proved right by an inspiring girl by the name of Ummul Khair. She has bagged an All India Rank-420 in the UPSC Civil Services Exam 2016 in her very first attempt under the disability quota.

But that is not all to her story.

Ummul’s family came to Delhi from Rajasthan when she was 5 years old. They used to live in a slum near Hazrat Nizzamudin where her father used to sell clothes in streets. She was born with a fragile bone disorder which has so far led to 16 fractures and 8 surgeries.

Ummul Khair

For those who are not familiar with this condition, Osteogenesis imperfecta is a disorder that mainly affects the bones. It is popularly called Brittle Bone disease. A child born with OI is vulnerable to multiple fractures throughout his lifetime. In its severe form, even a sneeze can cause multiple fractures to a child suffering from OI.

After Ummul Khair completed her Class 8, her parents forced her to stop studying as she was a girl. As a result, she left home and started living in a slum in Trilokpuri, Delhi. She used to teach the kids of slums and earn her livelihood.

Her schooling was funded by her school, Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust. She secured 91% in her class 12 board and took admission in Gargi College. She faced an accident in 2012  given her condition, left her wheelchair bound for a year.

After graduation, she earned a seat in JNU with 100% scholarship with an additional means-cum-merit of Rs. 2000.

She then went on to crack the Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and started earning Rs 25000 per month.

Khair said, ”There were problems at every level- social, economic and financial but I coped with them all. Teachers understood my potential and supported me at all times, which was the biggest support”.

Ummul Khair

Talking about her admission in Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU), she further stated that it was really easy getting through the university.

“In civil services you don’t need money, now with the help of internet you can crack the exam. The advantage of coming to JNU was that it was really easy and the mess is also cheap.”

Further advising the students, Ummul Khair asked them dream so big that their dream overrules all disability.

She is so brave. Her story inspires every person who is chasing his dreams. Your dream should be powerful enough so that no disability can hamper it. The only disability in life is a bad attitude.

P.S. To learn more about the condition of Osteogenesis imperfecta, you can read the book ‘Handle With Care’ by best-selling author Jodi Picoult.

-Randeep Kaur Dhillon

Edited by Mrinaal Datt.

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