25-year-old NL Beno Zephine from Chennai was a probationary worker at State Bank of India, but she got the surprise of her life when she was informed by External Affairs Ministry that she had officially been inducted into the 69-year-old Indian Foreign Service. With this, she became the first 100 per cent visually-challenged person to gain entry into the IFS.
In a tweet, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy said the foreign ministry refuted to post her aboard, but on his insistence, she got the Paris posting.
In the same tweet, he hit back at Times of India for giving the credit for it to Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
TamilChristian blind girl qualified for IFS. Ministry refused her post abroad. I fought and got her Paris posting.TOI gave credit to JJ!!
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) December 5, 2016
Beno Zephine had cleared the civil services exam last year but her posting was pending.
She hailed Modi government’s decision to allow 100 per cent visually challenged people into the service, and called the decision as revolutionary as many promising people lost out for lacking 20:20 vision.
Her father, Luke Anthony Charles, a railways employee, and mother Mary Padmaja, a homemaker, have been huge sources of inspiration for Beno.
Beno is looking forward to her assignment, delighted that as a diplomat she will get opportunities to speak. “I like talking a lot and was active through school and college in debates and extempore competitions,” said Beno, a postgraduate in English from Madras University.
Meanwhile, Twitterati too joined the chorus:
@Swamy39 No one gives damn or credit to TOI. We trust YOU.
— Maya Sarabhai (@highclaasmaya) December 5, 2016
— Rajgopalnb (@rajgopalnb) December 5, 2016
@Swamy39 TOI really fits the description you’ve given it : Toilet Paper. Worst in MSM for twisting news
— Rosy (@rose_k01) December 5, 2016
— NARASIMHAN K L (@kkgiree) December 5, 2016
@Swamy39 Have you thought of post of CM of TN…You could stand for it
— Nishka Krishna (@NishkaK) December 5, 2016
— Inder Sarma (@Rohtakite) December 5, 2016
@Swamy39 that’s great news! Hopefully when the girl gets to know, she will publically deny TOI’s report and give you full credit 🙂
— Minal Singh (@Minal55352507) December 5, 2016
@Swamy39 Ok. All credit goes to Swamy Sir🙏
— உழவே தலை (@ThanjaiSabari) December 5, 2016
@Swamy39 Unfortunate you didn’t get the credit. Doing good is in itself a reward. But why TamilChristian instead of Tamil?
— Siddharth Sanyal (@SiddharthSanyal) December 5, 2016