A woman with 80 percent hearing impairment has aced the Union Public Service Commission Civil Service (UPSC) exam.

Vaishali Sharma has her MBBS degree from Aligarh Muslim University. She is a topper in the exam’s physical disability category for two years in a row.

Last year, she scored 824 out of 2,025 and was ranked second in the physical disability category. However, she was not selected for the the civil service as examiners said she was ‘temporarily overweight’. Candidates need to pass a medical examination, in which their BMI is also measured, in order to be selected for the exam.

Vaishali shed her weight and appeared in the exam this year. She scored 969 and topped in her category.

When she wasn’t selected because of her weight, she was heartbroken. Her family urged her to take matters to court, but she didn’t want to do that.

She says that hearing aids are not very efficient. The devices amplify sound, but do not help in processing words, she says.

Also Read: A Woman Tops Civil Service Exam Third Year in a Row

To overcome her disability, she started learning how to lip read. She also learnt how to observe people’s body language and expressions, which is what helped her in interviews.

Attending coaching classes was also futile for Sharma, since she could never understand words in a group. As a result, she says that she spent long hours studying by herself.

She attributes her success to her family. “My family supported me. Whatever I have achieved today is due to their support,” she tells TOI.

Picture Credit: The Quint