Jaipur, March 3: Pushed by his daughters to pursue education, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Phool Singh Meena, now 62, will finally accomplish his dream to be BA pass.
Initially, a school dropout, he had to take up farming after his father's death. Officially, he was seventh pass but he somehow managed all his day to day chores in personal and professional life. However, his life changed when his five daughters made him realise the worth of education and inspired him to continue, explaining to him the fact that education has no age limit.
Abiding by their call, Meena on Tuesday took his first exam of BA final in political science stream in Udaipur from Vardhman Mahaveer Open University.
Speaking to IANS, he said, "I had to drop out from school after Class 7 as my father passed away and there were many challenges in the family. I got into farming to earn livelihood for my family."
"When I saw, it was not earning me significant returns, I went to Udaipur and started working in supplying labour to private factories. Then I entered politics and there was no looking back," he said.
"One fine day, my daughters, five in number, gathered me and asked me about my qualification," Meena said.
"I asked them what was the reason for this question and they said they wanted to hear the right answer from me. As I said I am seventh class pass, they said, 'Aren't you ashamed of it? How do you carry yourself amongst people, students and senior leaders?" he said.
"Their words were a real inspiration for me. Soon they brought me an application form and insisted me to fill it to crack the Class 10 exam. The form was submitted and I appeared for the exam in 2013. It was election time and I got the ticket so I could not clear two exams which I re-appeared and cleared in 2015. They gave me points so that I can learn from my chapters well," he added.
"Then I cleared my Class 12 exam in 2016-17. Finally, I was confident and there was no stopping as I continued my studies for BA in 2018-19 for first year, 2019-20 for second year and 2020-2021 for third year.
"Education is important along with politics, and hence I started studying again after 40 years. After BA, I am aiming at completing my PhD too," he said.
Meena is serving his second term as MLA from the Gadoli village, Jahajpur tehsil from Bhilwara district.
He said his daughters enlightened him about the value of education in one's life and hence wants all daughters of his constituency to spread wings. In 2015, soon after becoming MLA, he made an announcement that girls studying in the government schools securing 80 per cent and above marks will be given a chance for air travel. "The policy was implemented in 2016 and many girls of our constituency have travelled via air and around 35 girls are awaiting now for their term due to the Covid challenge," he said.