NEW DELHI: When 29-year-old Ayushi’s brother broke the news to her on Monday that she had cleared the UPSC exam, it took her a minute to register it.
“Honestly, I was expecting my name in the list, but it was still a huge surprise to be in the top 50. This was my fifth attempt. In the previous attempts, I couldn’t even clear the mains. One gets demotivated as it’s a long journey. But people looked up to me with hope, and it helped me carry on,” Ayushi told TOI, a day after achieving 48th rank in the Civil Services Exam.
Asked why she decided to move from teaching to civil services, Ayushi said, “I found teaching offered me a lot of opportunities to make someone’s life better and guide and inspire students. So, I thought UPSC would give me a larger canvas to work with. I want increased participation by differently-abled people in society and I I believe education is the biggest tool of empowerment… People need to change their perspective towards the differently-abled and treat them like others. There is still a lot of stigma attached to it; I have faced it many times too.”
Recalling that there was no dearth of encouragement at home when it came to education, Ayushi said her parents supported her in all her endeavours. “I’m lucky I have many good people in my life. I also want to tell the parents of those who are disabled that they should send their children to school and have faith in them,” she told TOI.
When she was preparing for the UPSC exam, Ayushi never attended any coaching classes, and took only mock tests. Her most important tip for aspirants is time management. “Even while going to work, I would read and listen to videos. I used to spend more than 40 minutes travelling to and from the school, and I did not let that time be wasted,” she said.
As she prepares to be posted either in Delhi or Haryana, Ayushi said she wants to work “ deeply” in the field of education and utilise nearly 10 years of experience. And even after she leaves her job at the school, she wants to stay connected with the children, she added.