Fulbright & promising at 20
While plucking leaves in the tea estates of Idukki, this child labourer would never have thought that he could make it big one day.
The 20-year-old is all set to fly to the US, leaving behind a tough past. R Jayaseelan is among the 10 selected for the prestigious Fulbright scholarship from India to pursue higher studies in History.
When the interview board asked him about his pet subject, pat came the reply, “I am working since the age of 10. I want to do some research about child labour and really want to help them.”
Daily wagers Rajan and Manorajyam are proud of their youngest son.
“Like his name, which in Malayalam means ‘always victorious’, he has never tasted defeat in life.
He is an epitome of hard work and determination. He is equally good in his work and studies,” says Rajan.
A bright student, Jayaseelan has also excelled in debates, bagging several awards. An article of his, published in a leading English daily — when he was in Class IX — earned rave reviews.
Modest as he is, Jayaseelan refuses to elaborate on his feats. Now a BA final year student at University College in Thiruvananthapuram, Jayaseelan says he idolises President APJ Abdul Kalam. “I want to scale many heights like him,” says a determined Jayaseelan.