Two cousins from Barnala, who hailed from underprivileged background, have overcome heavy odds to emerge successful in the Punjab Superior Judicial Service Examination to become additional district and sessions judges.
Proving that poverty is not an impediment to success, Amar Pal and Prem Kumar Hans secured fourth and fifth rank, respectively, among the SC category candidates. Born to cobbler parents, it has not been an easy journey for them. They cracked the exam with self-study and proving wrong the notion that only those studying in convent schools can achieve success.
Hans, who was born on May 5, 1973, passed matriculation from GAHS in 1989, did BA from SD College in 1994 and LLB from Panjab University in 1998. He practised as an advocate in the district courts after that.
Pal cleared the exam in his first attempt, whereas Hans' fourth try proved lucky for him.
After the demise of Pal's father in 2009, his mother did not lose hope and kept motivating him. "My mother told me not to be disheartened and continue to strive for the best," Pal said.
"Even when my father was alive, I never saw my parents disgusted or heard them grumbling over poverty. We have not studied in the so-called sophisticated atmosphere. The popular perception that students from convent schools alone can do well in these exams is a myth," he said.
"The hard work, sheer determination, dedication and sincerity have brought him success. My pain is that his father is no more to hear the happiest news of our life," said Bhagwanti, Pal's mother.
For Hans, it's a dream come true. "Deep and logical understanding coupled with determination and clarity of ideas are necessary for clearing such an exam," he said.
"Inspired by the spider, Scottish King Robert the Bruce told his men, 'If you don't succeed the first time, try, try and try again.' Genius is less of inspiration, more of perspiration. In 2011, I could not crack the PCS (Judicial) exam for want of just 1.5 marks. But I did not let myself disheartened and ultimately I succeeded," said Hans.
He added that, "I have seen trials and tribulations of life from an early age. Poverty creates obstacles but it cannot stop you from going ahead if you have will, determination and ability to succeed."
"There is no shortcut to success. Where there is a will, there will be opportunities regardless of constraints and stumbling blocks," the duo shared.