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In this ongoing series, we bring you 30 stories of struggle, survival and success to inspire you.
Arjun Ram Meghwal, a weaver from Bikaner, Rajasthan, was also an IAS officer before he became a Member of Parliament.
At a time when politics is dominated by money, muscle power and political legacy, Arjun Ram Meghwal's life presents an interesting contrast.
Initially a weaver, he went on to become an IAS officer and then a Member of Parliament.
"I was born in a traditional weaver family of Kismidesar village (Bikaner), where any student of my age hardly goes to school. During my school and college days I used to weave to support my family and my education," says Meghwal.
Meghwal got married when he was in class 7.
After marriage, he continued his studies and graduated in Arts (BA) and Law (LLB) from Sri Dungar College, Bikaner (Rajasthan).
What's more he managed to do his postgraduation from the same college.
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"My father had strictly warned that he would not allow me to continue my studies further if I failed in any of my exams.
It was a very tough time for me because there was no environment to study at my place. But I worked hard and managed to complete my studies," he says.
Along with his job, he started preparing for competitive exams to land in a government job.
Meghwal got into Indian Post and Telegraph Department as a telephone operator.
While working as a telephone operator, he also pursued his LLB degree while helping his father at the same time.
He also fought and won the elections for the post of General Secretary of Telephone Traffic.
Meghwal puts forth, "This was a great opportunity for me to understand the relation between policies and politics.
I attended many State-level meetings which gave me a good exposure."
Illustration: Dominic Xavier
In spite of clearing the written examination, he failed in the interview for Rajasthan Administrative Services.
He was shocked as he had been confident of clearing the interview. But he did not give up.
He gave a second attempt with strong determination to succeed.
He cleared it and got selected for State industrial services.
Following this, in 1994, he was recruited as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Deputy Chief Minister of Rajasthan.
He reached the peak, when he was promoted to the Indian Administrative Services and worked as District Collector of Churu district.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
As he received immense respect from people, he felt that they looked up to him as a role model and expected him to play an even greater role.
Politics was just the platform to serve this purpose.
He took the final leap in 2009, when the Bharatiya Janata Party offered him a ticket for Lok Sabha from Bikaner region.
He won. His ambition is to serve the people to the best of his ability.
"I consider this a new beginning and I still have miles to go in the service of people," he concludes.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh