Delhi: A 34-year-old security guard of Jawaharlal Nehru University cracked the same university’s entrance examination for admission into BA Russian (Hons).

Ramjal Meena is a son of a daily wager and attended a government school in his village Bhajera but due to financial reasons had to discontinue his education to help his father. The nearest college was 28-30 km away, he said. He stepped into JNU four years ago as a security guard and is now going to study there as a student.

Speaking to The Hindustan Times, Meena said, “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.”

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Last year, Meena graduated in Political Science, History and Hindi through distance learning from Rajasthan University. “Though I got really busy addressing my family’s financial issues, the regret of not joining a regular college was always there. But when I saw the academic environment here, the dream was revived,” he said. “I follow newspapers through apps on my phone. Besides, students also helped me get PDF notes.”

“I have heard those who study foreign languages get to visit foreign countries. Moreover, I want to try my luck in civil services,” he said.

There are, however, problems. “I am the sole earner and my wife is concerned about money. There is a rule that one cannot pursue regular education with work at JNU. I will request for night shifts,” said Meena, who earns ₹15,000 a month.

Naveen Yadav, JNU chief security officer, said, “We are proud of him. But working night shifts with regular college is not possible. We will, however, extend all help possible to him.”

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While JNU has been known more for its controversies, Meena threw some light upon how it is an esteemed institution that has given leaders to the country. “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,” he said, adding, “I also want to achieve something after studying.”

Meena was always determined in life. He wanted to learn, study and grow. Even when he had to give up his education because of the problems in his family, he continued to not give up. He chose distant education and served his family well alongside.

We all have thousands and millions of opportunities around us if we see so. But for someone who won’t have an eye to see one, won’t find any. Meena is an inspiration to everybody out there who wants to do something and can’t because of the restrictions they face in life. We all can do what we want to, all we need is hard work and some patience that buys us time to grab the opportunity that is the best for us.

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