Mala Papalkar's inspiring journey: From dustbin to Maharashtra secretariat | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Mala Papalkar's inspiring journey: From dustbin to Maharashtra secretariat

May 18, 2024 09:34 PM IST

Under the guidance of her mentor, Padma Shri awardee Shankarbaba Papalkar, Mala not only received his surname but also learned Braille and nurtured her talents.

Mala Papalkar, 25, a visually challenged woman who was abandoned in a dustbin at a railway station as a newborn, has cleared the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examination. She is now set to begin her career at the Maharashtra secretariat in Mumbai as a class three employee.

Mala Papalkar, 25, a visually challenged woman, was abandoned in a dustbin at a railway station as a newborn. HT Photo
Mala Papalkar, 25, a visually challenged woman, was abandoned in a dustbin at a railway station as a newborn. HT Photo

Papalkar's story began 25 years ago when she was found in a dustbin at the Jalgaon railway station in Maharashtra. With her parents untraceable, the police took her to a remand home in Jalgaon before transferring her to a better-equipped rehab home for the deaf and blind in Paratwada, Amravati district, 270 kilometres away. It was here that she was named Mala Papalkar.

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Under the guidance of her mentor, Padma Shri awardee Shankarbaba Papalkar, 81, Mala not only received his surname but also learned Braille and nurtured her talents. "God sent angels to rescue me and guide me to where I stand today," Mala said. "I am determined to continue my journey. My next goal is to appear for the UPSC exams and become an IAS officer."

Born blind, Mala's success in the MPSC examination is a testament to her hard work and perseverance. Her journey began in the "Balgruh," a home for destitute children, alongside 125 other orphaned and disadvantaged children. She pursued her education diligently, completing her BA degree in 2018 from the government-run Vidarbha Mahavidyalaya in Amravati.

Professor Prakash Tople from Daryapur, Amravati district, oversaw her degree education and later her preparation for the MPSC examination. Since 2019, Mala has been striving to prove herself through competitive exams, preparing under the guidance of Amol Patil, Director of Unique Academy.

"She appeared unsuccessfully for the posts of Class I officers, like Tahsildar and Deputy Collector, three times. But she never lost hope and finally cracked the examination for Class Three this year, conducted by the MPSC," Papalkar shared. He expressed his delight over Mala's accomplishment, emphasizing that her success will be remembered as a significant milestone in the history of rehabilitating disabled individuals across the country.

Mala's success has not only brought joy to her life but has also strengthened her resolve to continue pursuing her dreams. She remains committed to clearing the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examination and serving her country as an IAS officer.

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