34-year-old Meena, who comes from Bhajera village in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is a daily wager. A father of three daughters, he is a first-generation learner from his village.
What makes JNU different is that people here do not believe in social hierarchy. Everyone — teachers and students — encouraged me; now they congratulate me. " https://t.co/404JVUpzGi— Bhavesh Jha (@bhaweshjha_Bj) July 16, 2019
Living in a one-room rented accommodation in the national capital city of Delhi, Meena told the media that he had always yearned to study further and achieve something notable academically. He chose to study a foreign language because of his desire to see other countries and try his luck at entering the country’s civil services.
Stating that had it not been for his financial challenges, he might have attended college much earlier; however, Meena went on to say that this early regret of his life was resolved when he saw the rich academic environment at Jawaharlal Nehru University, reviving his dream to pursue higher studies.
Many netizens have praised the security guard for his landmark achievement, with one saying that it was a lesson for politicians, who are known for politicising the academic environment of the institution.
My heartiest Congratulations to Karauli #Rajasthan's, Ramjal Meena for clearing the #JNU entrance examination for admission into BA Russian (Hons), while working as a security guard in the same University. https://t.co/tv5utoHf0P— Vikram Meena Dausa (@Vikrammeenahin1) July 16, 2019
A security guard (Ramjal Meena) in JNU, cracked the JNU's entrance exam for B.A. (hons.) in Russian language.. #Ramjal_Meena belongs to #bajhera in Karauli.— Sumant Meena (@ErSumant1995) July 16, 2019
Congratulations #ramjal_meena https://t.co/myhzfXIc38
Other members of the Twitterati lauded Meena’s can-do spirit and said that his achievement is something people can learn from and emulate.
Ramjal Meena clearing the #JNU entrance exam is the best news I've heard all week. This makes me so happy!— Arya آریا (@thecuriouself) July 16, 2019
Each time you feel you have limitations and you feel you're tied down, just believe in yourself and soar. Hugh and mighty. ♥️#RamjalMeena https://t.co/cjOdLNnoPh
Meena revealed to media that he attended a government school in his village, but had to discontinue studies as he had to help his father to make ends meet.
He already holds a graduation in political science, history and Hindi, from Rajasthan University’s Distance Learning option.
Being the sole breadwinner of his family, Meena's wife is concerned about the family's finances. The other obstacle is that the university has a rule that one cannot pursue regular education and work at the same time.
Meena, who currently earns about $218 (Indian Rupees 15,000), has said he will request the university authorities to allow him to work as a guard at night.