Kerala

Hearing-impaired twins crack Engineering Services Exam

Lekshmi A.S. (left) and Parvathy A.S.

Lekshmi A.S. (left) and Parvathy A.S. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The old adage ‘where there is a will, there is a way’ continues to hold true for siblings Parvathy A.S. and Lekshmi A.S. who have surmounted immense odds in their lives.

The congenitally hearing-impaired twins, both of whom are graduates of the College of Engineering Thiruvananthapuram (CET), have cleared yet another hurdle to march ahead towards their ambition. The duo cracked the Engineering Services Examination 2021 conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) by securing the 74th and 75th ranks in the civil engineering category.

The achievement has taken them a step closer towards their dream postings in the Indian Defence Service of Engineers (IDSE). Ms. Lekshmi has been working as assistant engineer in the Irrigation department, while Ms. Parvathy is awaiting appointment through Staff Selection Commission as junior engineer in the Central Public Works department.

Neither the twins nor their family, who hail from Thirumala in the city, have had an easy ride. After their father passed away when they were just two years old, their mother, Sita, who has partial hearing impairment, took it upon herself to raise her three hearing-impaired children. The eldest of the three, Vishnu, another CET alumnus, is an assistant engineer in the Public Works department (PWD).

Ms. Sita, currently a superintendent in the PWD, had enrolled her twin daughters at the National Institute of Speech and Hearing (NISH) here when they were one-and-a-half years old. After undergoing training for nearly four years during when they were coached in speech therapy to read lip movements and speak, the girls were mainstreamed after they turned five and gained admissions in a school at Thirumala. There has been no looking back since.

Ms. Parvathy and Ms. Lekshmi had grabbed headlines in 2015 when they scored 1,187 and 1,185 marks respectively out of 1,200 in the Plus Two examinations, prompting the then District Collector Biju Prabhakar to pay them a surprise visit. While the duo completed BTech in Civil Engineering at CET in 2019, Ms. Lekshmi went on to pursue MTech in Geotechnical Engineering in the same college.

An elated P.K. Jayasree, one of their teachers at CET, attributed their success to sheer focus and hard work. “The sisters used to sit on the front row and unwaveringly read the lips of their teachers to understand concepts and take down notes. Their feat is one to emulate for youngsters,” she says.

Higher Education Minister R. Bindu, who congratulated the twins, said they could attain such heights without the assistance of cochlear implants and other digital aids.


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Printable version | Aug 6, 2022 6:19:30 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hearing-impaired-twins-crack-engineering-services-exam/article65271728.ece