Unmul Kher’s Story

You have always heard about the stories of toppers who studied hard and topped the exam. But today, I am going to share with the journey of Unmul  Kher, the girl who fought with Bone Disorder, her hostile parents but cracked UPSC.

At a very young age, around 5, Unmul Kher got to know that she is facing a Bone disorder. At the age of 14, she left her family because she wanted to study ahead of class 8. She had faith in her abilities and was determined to make this bold decision. She later joined Delhi University and completed her masters from JNU. In 2017 she cracked the UPSC exam.

Unmul Kher, 28, scored rank 420 in UPSC 2016 is an inspiration for us.

Her story is very motivating and can make you think that “If Unmul can fight against all odds and crack UPSC then what I am doing?”   Let’s look at her journey.

Read: UPSC 2018 Topper Srushti Jayant Deshmukh Preparation Strategy

Unmul Kher comes from a conservative family of Marwar, Rajasthan. She shifted to Delhi along with her family when she was just 5. Her father worked as Street Cloth Vendor and they lived in a slum near Hazrat Nizamuddin.

Unmul Kher studied till class 5 in Pt Deendayal Upadhyaya Institute for The Physically Handicapped. She went to Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust and completed her class 8 from there.

Since it was government funded charitable organisation, her education was completely free till class 8. She was satisfied that she was at least getting an education though her family found difficulty in getting a square meal.

After this came the “ Toughest Phase of her Life “ more tougher than cracking UPSC.

She wanted to complete her further studies from Arwachin Bharti Bhawan senior secondary school because it has better infrastructure. But her parents did not supported her idea. They told her that she has got enough education which a girl should get. When she tried to insist her parents on this issue, she was abused and was scolded. Her intentions to study were questioned.

Read: Ansar Shaikh, who fought Poverty to become the youngest IAS Officer of India

Source: Timesnownews

Unmul Kher left her home and came to Jhuggis of Trilokpuri in Delhi. This was a painful scenario for Unmul as she was a 14 year old girl with no shelter, no family. The only thing which she had was her courage to study. She used to pay the rent of the Jhuggi from the Tution fees which she earned. She called her decision to leave her family as one of her toughest decisions.

She was now living independently which means that she had to earn more to pay for her rent , food etc. So, she expanded her tutions, from a batch of few children to 4 batches viz 3-5pm, 5-7pm, 7-9pm and then 9-11 pm at night. She used to get a fee of Rs 50-100 from most of her students as they came from families of workers, labourers, ironsmith etc. She had not expected much more from them since they were slum children.

Unmul Kher told that it was really traumatic for her to live alone as it was never safe but she had no other choice.


Sehnag Begum, who also lived in Trilokpuri told that Unmul was very brave. She used to live alone but her daughter used to sleep her many times to give her company and due to which she used to give free tutions to her daughter.

Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust helped her whenever required and she completed her class 9 and 10 from there. In her class 12 Boards, she scored 91% and got admission into Gargi College where she funded her education through her tuitions only.

Unmul Kher’s Future Life

Unmul Kher’s college friend, Abishek ranjan recalled about the difficult days in her life said, “She funded her education through the money which she won in Debates competitions. One can earn a decent amount of money from these competitions.” But she was not able to participate in all such competitions as many of them were evening competitions and she had her tuitions at that time.

In 2012 she met with an accident and she was confined to a wheelchair as she was suffering from Bone disorder for a year.


After completing her graduation in sociology in 2011 she cleared the entrance exam of JNU where she completed her Masters in International Studies. She was now getting a Rs 2,000 means-cum-merit scholarship which simply means that she had no longer resort to tutions. In 2013, she cracked Junior Research fellowship for which she got a scholarship of 25,000 per month.

Having Physical challenges, she always gave proper competition to other students in both Academics and Extracurricular activities.

Archana Upadhyaya, a faculty member JNU’s School of International Studies

Since September 2014, Ummul Kher was working as a trainee at Duskin Leadership Training in Shinjuku, Japan. At the same time she was doing her PhD.

When she was asked whether she will forgive her parents? She said, “ I cannot blame them as it was not their fault since they were groomed in an environment which shaped their thinking. In the past years her relations with her family improved significantly. She told about her plans to visit her family soon.

Unmul Kher’s parents were now living in Rajasthan and her brother was running a small Bangle Shop.

Unmul Kher told that her aim was to become an IAS officer from Class 2. Despite, having completed her PhD, IAS remained a dream only in her life. She always saw it as a position where she can change the social lives. Finally she decided and cracked the exam in her first attempt.

Unmul Kher has gone through 16 fractures and 8 surgeries still her “Never Say Die” is what makes her special.

Unmul Kher’s Marks

She cleared the exam in her first attempt. Now, lets learn about her score in UPSC.

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