Back to school: Encouraged by daughters, BJP’s Rajasthan MLA resumes studies after 40 years
A Bharatiya Janata Party MLA in Rajasthan resumed studies after 40 years, realising that his speeches to students about the importance of education sounded hollow as he was a school dropout.
Udaipur Rural MLA Phool Singh Meena, 55, is now giving his BA first year exams. The MLA who had studied till Class 7 said he took up studies again after being encouraged by his five daughters.
“I had to give up studies after my father, who was in the army, died. I took to farming to take care of my family,” the MLA said.
Meena said his daughters urged him to resume studies after he joined politics. “They told me that you interact with so many people, senior officials, and leaders, so education is important for you. But I was sceptical considering my age.”
“I felt they were right. I used to tell people about the importance of education but I myself was not educated. My conscience pricked me and so I decided to resume studies.”
His third daughter Deepika said, “My father worked very diligently. He cleared the Class 10 and 12 exams and now he is doing his graduation. We are very proud of him.”
Meena does not attend regular classes as he is busy with his political work. His teacher Sanjay Lunawat, principal of the government senior secondary school at Manvakheda, near Udaipur , says he teaches the MLA while the lawmaker is travelling.
“I teach him while we are travelling from one place to another in his constituency. Or I make audios of the lessons and send them to him on WhatsApp and he listens to them while travelling in his constituency or to Jaipur,” said Lunawat.
Lunawat, who runs free coaching classes for students preparing for competitive exams, said the MLA is a dedicated and humble student. “He resumed studies after 40 years and even at his age he is committed and using technology. He did not make excuses for not appearing in exams even in an election year.”
Lunawat said Meena won’t stop here. “He plans to do his postgraduation and then his Ph.D.”