New Delhi: A 34-year-old security guard at Jawaharlal Nehru University has cracked the JNU entrance exam for admission into BA Russian (Hons). He has been working as the security guard at the university since 2014.

“I come from a village in Rajasthan. I was a bright student but I couldn’t continue my education due to financial constraints,” said Ramjal Meena, a first-generation learner from Rajasthan’s Karauli. A report by Times of India quoted Meena as saying, “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, the son of a daily wage earner, pursued his primary education at a government school in Bhajera village. However, he discontinued his studies as the college nearest to his residence was 28 to 30 km away. Besides, he also had to work in order to help his father, stated a report. Despite the hardships, Meena was passionate about learning.

In the year 2018, he graduated in Political Science, History and Hindi through distance education from Rajasthan University. Ramjal Meena was quoted by news agency ANI as saying, “Later I completed my graduation through distance education and now I am pursuing my post-graduation. As I started working here in JNU from 2014 I got the inspiration to study more, it was then I decided to continue my education.”

The secret to cracking the entrance exam was Meena’s consistent reading habit. Besides reading the news on mobile apps, he also revised the PDF notes shared by his fellow students. In fact, Meena got time to learn while during the duty breaks and after his duty hours.

Expressing his desire to visit foreign countries, Meena explained his preference for learning foreign languages. He added that he may also try his luck in cracking civil service exams.

Meena is a married man and has three daughters. This JNU security guard earns Rs 15,000 per month. Since he is the sole bread-winner of the family, he said that he could not pursue a regular course at JNU. Therefore, he stated that he would request the college authorities to put him in night shifts so that he can attend the college during the morning shift.