Ummul Kher – The Story of a Slum Dweller Who Cleared the IAS Exam

A few days back Kalam Fan Club featured a post about Tushar Rishi, a 16-year-old boy, who despite being diagnosed with bone cancer went on to score 95% in XII Board Exams.

This week we have a similar story about a girl—Ummul Kher, suffering from the fragile bone disorder who got disowned by her parents due to their apathy towards educating a girl child beyond primary school. She has crossed various hurdles of facing 16 fractures and 8 surgeries, completing High school studies by dwelling in a slum, clearing XII board exams, bagging scholarships, obtain Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and reaching the pinnacle of achievement by cracking UPSC Competitive Exams with a 420 rank. In this process of reaching the height of accomplishment, she got disowned by her parents, led a penury life at a slum, and delivered marathon hours of tuitions to slum dwellers’ kids, faced the trauma of surgery and fractures.

Breaking the Shackles of ‘Education not our Cup of Tea’ mindset

Ummul Kher’s family migrated from Rajasthan to Delhi while she was in 5th grade and her father, a street vendor by profession had no forethought of educating the children further. Her stubborn attitude to continue education despite hardship at home resulted in her parents disowning her. For the cause of studies, she started living in a slum at Jhuggi Jhopri (JJ) Cluster, Trilokpuri locality. Her Initial education was at Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Institute for Physically Handicapped up till 5th grade. Once she was disowned by her parents she joined Amar Jyothi CharitableTrustt until 8th grade.

Ummer quotes—“My lonely stay at Jhuggi (hut) to complete High school was more challenging than cracking UPSC exams. I had to take tuitions for meagre fees of 50-100 INR from slum dwelling kids and tuition batches used to run for marathon hours, starting from 3 P.M to 11 P.M in form of 5 batches to support myself.”

Galore of Scholarships and Fellowships 

Once Ummer completed 8th grade, Amar Jyothi trust funded for her further education through scholarships for next 5 years. In Grade 12, she came up with a stupendous 91% score and secured seat at Gargi College for graduation. She continued her tuition spree to support educational expenses. Unfortunately during her under graduation studies she met with an accident and was made to move with a wheel chair.

On successful graduation she obtained admission to prestigious Jawharlal Nehru University (JNU) with cent percent scholarship. Most admirable achievement is that she cracked fellowship exam to bag 25000 INR Junior Research Fellowship (JRF). This became a stepping stone to accomplish her dream of cracking UPSC exams and come up with 420th Rank.



  1. Mr Khin Maung Myint June 7, 2017
  2. Mohammad. Yakhoob June 8, 2017
  3. Yogesh R Agarwal June 8, 2017
  4. Subin jacob cherian June 10, 2017
  5. Rabindranath Bhattacharyya June 10, 2017
  6. Akhilesh kumar June 11, 2017
  7. Neijalam Misao June 14, 2017
  8. Rasika June 14, 2017
  9. yasdeo Thakoor June 14, 2017
  10. dinesh June 15, 2017
  11. Biplab Deka June 16, 2017
  12. Sajan June 21, 2017
  13. Kailas Sai Nishta August 26, 2017
  14. Anjali Musande August 26, 2017
  15. Vanireddy August 26, 2017
  16. Pritam August 26, 2017
  17. Ritesh August 27, 2017
  18. Ganesan s/o Nadason August 27, 2017
  19. Mahendra Gaur August 27, 2017
  20. Ritesh August 27, 2017
  21. shirish August 27, 2017
  22. Gobinda Roy August 27, 2017
  23. banu February 18, 2018
  24. Rebecca vaiphei February 19, 2018
  25. syed Ashraf March 23, 2018

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