IAS topper Ira Singhal, who topped the civil services exams in 2014 has taken to social media to share how she faced bullying for her disability on Instagram. She shared a screenshot of an individual, who had mocked her by calling Ira a ‘hunchback.’
Sharing her traumatic experience, Ira wrote, “For anyone who thinks people with disabilities don’t have to face anything, as the world is nice and kind – just sharing someone’s comments from my Instagram account.”
Terming it a shining of cyberbullying, Ira wrote, “Unfortunately someone who cannot be bullied is being attempted to be bullied. And this is probably a person who wants to be a Civil Servant. This is why we need Inclusive Schools and this is why we need our education system to focus on producing better human beings more than anything else.”
Ira, who’s currently posted as the Deputy Commissioner in Delhi, later added that she did not that person punsihed even though as a top civil servant she was capable of bringing the perpetrator of cyberbullying to book.
“Thanks everyone for your kind words. A lot of people are asking that I get him punished. There are a few things to that – 1. Getting punished doesnt change your mentality. He will not suddenly become a great person. All that will happen is that our anger gets satisfied. What really needs to be done, is to help people change their mentality and attitude towards disabilities and abilities.
“2. We think what he said is wrong. If we think so because we are talking about the fact that he is trying to abuse someone without cause then yes he is wrong. But if we think he is wrong because that word is bad, then we need to make that word become ok. Let us realise that being disabled – andha, behra, kubda, etc are not bad things. These words are bad if we think being that way is bad. So let us be clear that words are bad if we think being like this is bad,” she added.
Ira, however, made it clear that her decision to not file a case against the troll did not mean she was approving his action. She said, “But oh yes, attempting Cyber-bullying is bad and must not be tolerated. Unfortunately, he picked someone who cannot be bullied.”
Ira, according to news agency IANS, had topped the 2014 civil services examinations, becoming the first candidate to top the general category despite being differently-abled.
She had first sat for the examinations in 2010, securing the 815th rank. She was not given a posting due to her disability. But she refused to give up and stood first in 2014 and got a posting in Hyderabad.