Chennai: Beno Zephine Becomes First 100% Blind Officer In Indian Foreign Service
The 25-year-old from Chennai was informed by the external affairs ministry on Friday that she has been inducted into the IFS (Indian Foreign Service), the first 100 per cent visually-challenged person to gain entry into the 69-year-old service.
“I am grateful that in order to give me the assignment, the central government has modified some parameters,” Beno said. She had cleared the civil services exam last year but her posting was pending. “I did get a hint about my posting as during the interview by the Union Public Service Commission, majority of the questions revolved around foreign policy and geo-strategic issues after I was asked about north-eastern states and had spoken about how most of the country’s borders were located in that region,” she said.
Beno transcended the dependence on Braille books by switching to Job Access With Speech (JAWS), a software that allows visually challenged to read from a computer screen, to scan Tamil and English books. The software can also be adapted to a smart phone. “Parents, especially mother, read a lot of books and newspapers to me,” she said.