June 16, 2011 1:17:16 am
At first sight,26-year-old Sukhsohit Singh looks like just another student with a success story behind him. He topped the commerce stream among Kendriya Vidyalayas in the Chandigarh region in 2002,and later attained the first position in Masters in Public Administration at Panjab University. Then,after studying for 15 hours a day,he achieved the 883rd rank in the UPSC examinations.
However,what really sets Singh apart from the rest is the fact that he managed all this while battling thalassemia major,a disease that requires him to get a blood transfusion once in three weeks.
But what should have been an inspirational tale was cut short when Singh was declared medically unfit for all services by Delhis Safdarjung Hospital. Recalling the day his dreams were rudely shattered,he said,I was called on February 9,2011,for a medical check up at the hospital. They gave me a report,which said I am unfit for all services. It is unconstitutional.
Singh filed an appeal with the department of Personnel and Training challenging the verdict,after which he was called for a second medical test at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. But I am not very hopeful of things working out. The RML authorities said they were bound by the Government of India Gazette,and so I dont know if anything different will happen now.
The results of the second medical test are still awaited.
Singh argues that the Government of India Gazette makes a clear distinction between technical and non-technical services. Non-technical services are of the kind that do not require physical exertion. For non-technical services,the Government of India Gazette,Appendix III,says,To be fit for appointment,a candidate must be in good mental and bodily health,with no condition that is likely to interfere with efficient performance.
I had chosen non-technical services such as the Indian Defence Accounts Service and the Indian Railway Accounts Service. I am fit for them, Singh said. To back his claim,Singh had taken with him to Safdarjung Hospital a report from Dr R K Marwaha,senior oncologist,Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research,Chandigarh,declaring him fit for service.
Dr Deepak Chopra,president,Thalassemics India,said,Thalassemia patients live absolutely normal lives as long as they get blood transfusions once in three weeks. The decision to debar him from all services is unfair and will prove to be a deterrent for other patients like him. The government must realise what these children go through,and in that light,review this completely unjust decision.
However,the boy has not lost hope yet. Such is Singhs determination to get into the Civil Services that he gave the entrance again this year in order to achieve a higher ranking. Even though I achieved what I did by working through all these problems,I still have to run from pillar to post to achieve my dream, Singh said.
Singh,who is doing his PhD,also has an offer from the University of Kent to pursue a Masters degree in International Relations.
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