Kakkanad: When Pranjal Lahensingh Patil mounted the stairs of the Ernakulam collectorate here on Monday to take charge as the assistant collector, history was being made.
Pranjal, hailing from Maharashtra, is the first visually impaired woman IAS officer in the Kerala cadre. She was accompanied by her parents as she went to the district collector Muhammed Safirulla’s chamber to take charge as his deputy.
Pranjal did not forget to gift the much famed Alphonso mangoes from Ratnagiri in Maharashtra to the district collector, under whom she would be training as per the instructions of the UPSC. As soon as she took charge, the incumbent officer reached the administrative hall to meet the officials.
It was PH Roshitha, an official at the establishment department in the collectorate, who took Pranjal’s hand to guide the new assistant collector to the administrative hall to meet the various officers in the different sections. P V Sunilkumar, who was appointed as the personal assistant, too accompanied her and introduced the senior officials.
Pranjal visited the sections like land acquisition, revenue recovery, finance, public administration and grievance redressel to understand the functioning of each department. She went to each official from deputy collectors to office assistants to meet them personally.
The officials at the Ernakulam collectorate were excited to welcome Pranjal who had cracked the civil service examination despite losing her vision in childhood itself. When the young officer requested their wholehearted support to successfully complete her training at Ernakulam, the officials did not mind breaching the protocol to take her hands in theirs in a graceful gesture.
Pranjal, who overcame her disability to score an impressive 124th rank in the UPSC exam, has completed her initial training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie. After a few days, the assistant collector will leave for Thiruvanathapuram for her next phase of training before returning to Kakkanad by the end of June.