Beno Zephine Is India’s First 100% Blind IFS Officer

Beno Zephine, a 25-year-old from Chennai, is now the first 100 per cent visually-challenged person to become an IFS (Indian Foreign Service) officer.

According to TOI, She was informed of her selection into the elite 69-year-old service by the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday.


A postgraduate in English, Beno had cleared her exams last year securing 343rd rank but according to IFS parameters, 100 per cent blind people were not considered for the job.

Which is why Beno is thankful to the Central Government for her selection.

“I am grateful that in order to give me the assignment, the central government has modified some parameters.”


Instead of Braille books, Beno used Job Access With Speech (JAWS), a software that allows visually challenged to read from a computer screen, to scan Tamil and English books.


Former diplomats have hailed the decision to allow 100 per cent visually challenged people into the service.

“This is nothing short of a revolutionary decision as many promising people lost out for lacking 20:20 vision, ” a former diplomat told TOI.


Beno said that she is grateful to PM Modi for the MEA decision adding that she will be seeking the blessings of both the PM and Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalitha before starting her diplomatic journey.


Beno Zephine Blind IFS Officer

Beno with her mother. BThe Hindu/ R. Ravindran

Beno cleared her exams while working as a probationary officer with the State Bank of India and pursuing her PhD in English. She credits her father, Luke Anthony Charles, a railways employee, and mother Mary Padmaja, a homemaker, as her pillars of support.


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