Chandigarh: Despite vision loss, this IAS officer cycles to work

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Meet the official who despite a vision loss, cycles to work, all with the help of his security officer. With the help of his PSO or his driver, Rupesh Kumar, IAS, deputed at the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, uses a twin cycle to go to office. The officer has retinitis pigmentosa, because of which he needs this help.

The IAS officer hails from Amritsar in Punjab. He did all his schooling from Amritsar, GNDU, and then moved to JNU for his higher studies. Recently, he also completed his law from NLU Delhi.

Rupesh Kumar learnt about his vision loss around 20 years ago. He said that he gradually started having vision loss at a time when he was studying and working both.

It was later when he went to see a doctor and he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. “That’s something I couldn’t help about. There are certain things in life you can’t help but you don’t have to lose hope and let anything deter your dreams,” Kumar said. Initially he used to do everything, including driving, easily.

“The way Manmohan Singh became the PM, I landed into the civil services,” Kumar said smiling. He said that he wanted to bring a change and wanted that people should remember him which is why he landed into civil services.

“I want people to remember me after my death and it is only when you do something different. Kumar said that every day in life is a challenge, something he likes. “Without a challenge in life, life isn’t interesting. I would say life without a challenge is nothing. If I can do my bit to bring about a change, I will definitely do that,” he stated.

The officer borrows a cycle to work

According to Rupesh Kumar, he feels that everyone should cycle to work at least once a week, irrespective of any situation. “It will not just reduce pollution but also keep you fit. See the benefits of cycling for your own health and for the environment as well,” said Kumar.

He said that he wants to bring a change and to bring that change, he has to set an example himself. “To bring a change, you have to set an example yourself. A change can’t be brought until you yourself aren’t doing the thing,” Rupesh Kumar told The Indian Express.

“Since childhood, I was very fond of riding a cycle. Whenever I would get that opportunity, I would do that. Now, being in a city like Chandigarh, where the city offers you ample opportunities to ride a cycle, one must do that here. You see the cycle tracks laid in Chandigarh,” he added. He also spoke how he uses whichever cycle he gets. “I don’t have my own cycle so whichever I get I use that to cycle to work,” he stated.

Kumar said that twin cycle is really beneficial and it is about inclusivity. He is also planning to get some inducted in the public bike-sharing system as well.

“Twin cycles are really beneficial that way. Like in my case, either it is a PSO or my driver who is along with me. It can be used by couples or in families too like a father and his child or a mother and child,” Kumar said.

He also added, “We are exploring the opportunity if half of the bicycles at a station can be made twin cycles. We are speaking to the company that has been given the agreement of the project in Chandigarh.”

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