KempaHonnaiah, is perhaps the first visually challenged person to have cracked the civil service examination-2016 from Karnataka. He secured the 340th rank at the all India level and is on his toes to join the civil service as IAS officer. R. Uday Kumar spoke to him on his achievement.
A strong mind can transcend the weaknesses of the body just as brawn with a weak mind is a real handicap! When several people with normal vision find even UPSC preliminary examination a tough nut to crack, here is a visually challenged KempaHonnaiah who exemplifies what dedication, hard work and focus can fetch! Perhaps, he is the first visually challenged person to have cracked the civil service examination-2016 from Karnataka. He secured the 340th rank at the all India level and is on his toes to join the civil service as IAS officer.
In fact, the annulment of his appointment as Tahsildar through KPSC examination2011 owing to the recruitment scam by state government in 2014 turned out to be a blessing in disguise for KempaHonnaiah. Instead of lamenting his fate, he just moved on, channelized his energy into preparations for the UPSC examinations and came out with flying colours. All he did was take the disappointment in his stride and aim high. Though he had made unsuccessful attempts twice in 2007 and 2009, this Kannada lecturer at Mysuru’s Government Pre-university College in Vontikoppal attempted to clear the examination once again with his enthusiasm renewed and morale strengthened by his beloved other half in every sense of the word - Achintha.
Achintha, a special educator quips she had anticipated her husband’s success. “I expected he would be among the top 300 but I’m happy that he sailed through.” KempaHonnaiah, completely visually challenged, probably may not have tried his luck in UPSC exam, if his selection as Tahsildar wasn’t scrapped. It turned out to be a boon in wraps, explained Achintha, a mother of two sons. She also mentioned that her husband has got very good grasping and memory power which really enabled him to achieve success in the UPSC exam. Achinta used the I-Pad to record all material that was required for her husband and later KempaHonnaiah used to listen to those recordings and update his knowledge.
Achintha helped KempaHonnaiah in his preparations for nearly three years by reading books and newspapers for him. KempaHonnaiah too attributes his achievement to wife Achintha “If I hadn't gotten married to Achintha I think I would have not cleared or even written UPSC exam”, said KempaHonnaiah who wants to do justice to the people by providing good administration.
A native of Chowdanakuppe village in Kunigal taluk, Tumakuru district, KempaHonnaiah born to Honnaiah and Muniyamma couple suffered from retinal detachment. He lost his eye-sight when he was in class IV. He discontinued schooling at his native place but with the help of a teacher was admitted to Hellen Keller School for Blind in Mysuru from where he completed his schooling in 2000.
He graduated from Mysuru’s Maharaja’s College and did his MA in Kannada literature which was his major subject in civil service exam from KSOU. He also completed his MPhil from Hampi University before he was appointed as a lecturer through direct recruitment in 2009.
Speaking to Karnataka Today, KempaHonnaiah, the proud father of Nibodh and Prabodh, said that his urge to achieve something in life had brought him to this level. He started preparation for the civil services with study materials obtained from Byju’s but also was greatly supported by wife and friends–Gaurav Kumar Shetty and G H Hiremath, who helped him write the exams. He dedicated nearly 10-12 hours a day for studies along with work.
“I was aware of successful visually challenged people who had cleared civil services exams in other states and once I got a chance to meet Krishna Gopal Tiwari, a MP cadre IAS officer, from whom I took few suggestions. Those aspiring to become IAS officers or wanting to clear UPSC exams should always have ‘Dholpur House’, the venue for civil services interview in New Delhi as target in their mind. They should not think of other options like, 'if I prepare for UPSC I can get through KPSC or other competitive exams.' If anyone is dedicated, devoted, determined, is sincere and has a secular mindset irrespective of any religion, caste or region and let’s go off the complexes associated with rural or urban background they can definitely get through UPSC exam. Even if you are blind, if you’re thinking and approach is good and have proper sense you can do wonders”, rightfully added KempaHonnaiah who also wants to create awareness among the visually challenged to take up competitive exams.