For Phool Singh Meena, BJP MLA from Udaipur, age is just a number. The 59-year-old legislator, who had to quit his studies after his father’s death to earn a living, has enrolled in a graduation course to complete his education. A father of four girls, Meena was inspired by his daughters to study again. “After the death of my father, I had to drop school and take up farming to take care of my family,” PTI quoted Meena.
The MLA, a Class 7 dropout, realised the need to resume his studies during an education campaign for young tribal girls in his region and was further goaded by his daughters. Meena had enrolled himself in an open board to clear his Class 10 examination in 2013 but could not take the test before 2016 owing to his busy schedule. The BJP MLA appeared for his Class 12 examination in 2016-2017 and finally completed his school education.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ campaign was also an inspiration for Meena and he encouraged ST/SC girls in his constituency to enrol themselves in school. To motivate the students, he announced free flight tickets to Jaipur for girls who scored above 80 per cent in secondary and higher secondary examinations.
“Two students got free plane rides to Jaipur in 2016 and six in 2017. They were felicitated by the chief minister and her cabinet colleagues and also given a tour of the state Legislative Assembly,” he said.
The MLA’s endeavour improved the performance of girl students in his constituency. Following the positive outcome of the incentive, the MLA announced free plane rides for girl students of general category too. Meena, who recently appeared for BA first year exams, said, “While encouraging others to study, I felt deep pain that I did not complete my education. My daughters sensed the pain and motivated me to go back to school.” The MLA believes if people’s representatives were educated then only they could motivate others.
(With PTI inputs)