Kartik Kansal was 8 years old when he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, a disorder that progressively stops the functioning of the limbs. For this, he had to begin using a wheelchair.

In 2018, he graduated from IIT Roorkee, and cleared several competitive examinations like GATE.

But his disability became a hindrance during placements, he says. “It was a difficult phase for me. Mentally, I was prepared, but what can I do about my physical condition?”

Meanwhile, he successfully gained a position as a scientist at ISRO. Alongside, he continued preparing for the UPSC.

Kartik sat for the examinations thrice. In 2019, he bagged an AIR of 813. This offered him a good post in the field, but he desired an administrative role.

Contrary to his expectations, he couldn’t crack the Mains in 2020. But he was not ready to give up yet.

In between work, he found at least four hours to practice written examinations. His current job and dream career walked hand-in-hand.

Finally in 2021, the 25-year-old secured an AIR of 271, which brought him closer to his aim.

He says that disability is more about mentality than external factors and society isolates such children.

“There is a psychological barrier that comes with this. I want to focus on changing that mindset to make India more accessible to everyone,” he says.