Civil Services Exam: Akhila makes the cut years after traumatic accident

B S Akhila celebrating with her family. Photo: Manorama Online

Thiruvananthapuram: The success of B S Akhila in the Civil Services Examination, 2022, is nothing short of a miracle. The youngster from Karette in Thiruvananthapuram district had lost her right arm in a bus accident while she was a mere five years old, and had adapted to live with her left arm.

Daughter of K Buhari, a former headmaster at Cotton Hill Government Girls High School, Thiruvananthapuram, who was also the state general secretary of the teachers’ organisation AKSTU, and Sajina Beevi, Akhila has secured rank 760 in the exam, the results of which were announced on Tuesday.

The bus accident which changed Akhila’s life forever took place on September 11, 2000. Her right arm was lost from the shoulder down and she was taken to the Indian Army’s Artificial Limb Centre at Pune to fix an artificial arm.

However, doctors at Pune said that Akhila needed to visit Germany for her artificial limb. Subsequently, a medical team from Germany arrived in Mumbai and examined Akhila. However, the German doctors expressed their helplessness in resolving Akhila’s problem.

Soon, Akhila travelled to Houston in the US for treatment with the support of NORKA and a voluntary organisation. Even though she spent three months at the US hospital, the medical professionals there too said that an artificial limb could not be fixed as Akhila had lost the tip of her shoulder.

Following her treatment, Akhila lost one year of her academic life. Still, she did not waste time. Akhila had started to practise writing and engaging in all activities with her left hand and soon mastered these skills.

While studying in Class 5 at M T M School, Kallara in Thiruvananthapuram, Akhila heard about the civil service career from her teacher Anil Kumar and was inspired to pursue that dream.

In Class 10 final exam in the CBSE stream, Akhila secured A 1 grade in all subjects. She followed it up with 1,196 marks out of 1,200 in the higher secondary exam. Akhila went on to pursue an Integrated MA at IIT Madras, where she also excelled in badminton.

Akhila has cleared the Civil Services Exam in her third attempt. In the previous two attempts, she had reached the interview stage. Even when visitors are flooding her house, B S Manzil at Thalikuzhi in Karette, with greetings, Akhila is preparing to make yet another attempt at the upcoming Civil Services Examination in order to improve her rank.

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