Ramjal Meena stepped into Jawaharlal National University (JNU) in 2014 for the very first time seeking a livelihood, joining the university as a Security Guard.
Little did he know that on one fine day, he would manage to clear the entrance and will be walking in the University premises as a student. The 34-year-old learner from Rajashthan’s Karauli has managed to crack the JNU entrance and will get admitted into BA Russian (Hons).
“Teachers and students encouraged me”
Ramjal praised the teachers and students, who kept pushing him. “What makes JNU different is that people here do not believe in the social hierarchy. Everyone — teachers and students — encouraged me; now they congratulate me. I feel like I have become famous overnight,” Meena told the Hindustan Times.
Being the son of a daily wager, Meena had to face a hard time during his early education days, he did his early schooling from a government school in Bhajera. “The nearest college was 28-30 km away. Moreover, I had to work to help my father too,” he said.
“My aim is to learn as much as I can”
Ramjal already holds an undergraduate degree from Rajasthan University (RU) and has also cleared the first year of MA political science from RU in distance mode. He aspires to crack the Civil Services Examination and serve the country.
“My aim is to learn as much as I can and crack the civil services exam. I want to serve my country in best of my capabilities,” Being a father of three daughters, Ramjal has an extra responsibility of helping them in getting a decent primary education.
“I enrolled in BSc from Rajasthan University but had to drop out after the first year due to my family’s financial condition. I always wanted to learn more. Even after I had to quit mainstream education, I made sure to learn from whichever source possible. I never leave the house without a book. I read newspapers, competitive exam books and kept on applying for various government vacancies. During my search for a job, I came across a recruitment drive for security guard and cleared the same. I was hired at a salary of Rs 3,000,” said Meena to the Indian Express.
“Read newspapers daily; followed tutorial videos”
Ramjal shared his experiences about preparing for the JNU entrance examination (JNUEE), he stated, “I made sure reading newspapers daily. I followed several tutorial videos and mobile-based news apps. Even if I used to get 15 minutes of time, I tried focussing on studies. I referred to competitive exam books as well. I also practised the last five years’ question bank.”
“JNU atmosphere inspired me”
According to him, the JNU atmosphere was responsible for making his reading habit more focussed. “After coming to the varsity, I was content to see the environment here. People here hold discussions on the latest issues. There is a culture of acceptance despite classes. This environment inspired me. I have made all my three daughters shift from village to a Munirka-based government school. I want them to have a quality education,” he said.
He pursued the Russian language as the course, due to his willingness for exploring Russian literature, food and art. “It is only through learning a language, you understand a country’s culture. I am curious to know more about Russia’s literature, food and wish to explore it. This would be knowledgable. In the meanwhile, I would continue to study more and practice for UPSC.”
At present, the JNU does not have a provision of allowing regular students to have jobs along with studies, which means that Ramjal will have to leave his job, which is critical for him to sustain his daughter’s education and family’s expenditure.
His Colleagues expressed their pleasure over Meena’s achievement and also were proud of him.
“The University has given many scholars”
Meena stated that there have been many “wrong perceptions” about the university. “There are so many rumours about JNU after the February 2016 incident. But it’s not like students only protest; the university has given so many scholars to the country,” Meena said. He further added, “I also want to achieve something after studying.”
The Logical Indian take
The feat that Meena went onto achieve is not even a bit short from being called remarkable. Despite having the extra responsibility of helping his family manage the livelihood expenses, and providing his daughters with a good educational base; he fought with the odds and truly has emerged out on the top.
However, he is not really willing to settle soon, and the will that he posses strongly offers him a great chance to go on and crack the UPSC Exam, which has been his ultimate aim as well.