Jobin S Kottaram, a native of Changanassery town in Kerala, took the Civil Service Examination in 2010. However, despite making it to the interview stage, he fell short of the final list by just two marks.

But he didn’t let his failure to clear the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) interview come in the way of helping others. He chose to become a teacher instead.

To help people crack the CSE, he started Absolute IAS Academy in 2010, which runs in Kochi, Kozhikode, and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

When he learnt that there was no support for the disabled to prepare for the exams, he started project Chithrasalabham, a special batch, in 2021.

Chithrasalabham in Malayalam means ‘butterfly’. We wanted to give wings to students with disabilities,” says Jobin.

“In India, there are over 2.68 crore people with disabilities, but they are not adequately represented in our leadership. When people from a segment like this come into power, they will understand their problems and can change policies as well,” he adds.

Jobin provides both online and offline classes for free for people with disabilities — including orthopaedic disabilities, cerebral palsy, and those with visual and hearing impairments.

After the UPSC CSE results were announced in May 2023, 41 candidates with benchmark disabilities were recommended for appointment to various services.

Jobin informs that the other two batches will write the examinations in the upcoming years.

“I intend to expand this project to pan India. I want to make it a social transformation project and tell the world that if you are in an influential role, you can also support people like you,” he says.