Holding a writing pad with a laminated admit card clipped to it in one hand and a water bottle in the other, a middle-aged man became the object of attraction of many students, who were intrigued by the odd sight at a Uttar Pradesh Class 12 board exam centre in Bareilly.
Appearing for the exam on February 16, the man waiting outside the centre was former BJP MLA Rajesh Mishra alias Pappu Bhartaul. “Students who came for the exam were first surprised to see me. But they seemed happy to see that a politician from their area is appearing in the exam alongside them,” said the 51-year-old politician.
Mishra got a ticket from the BJP in the 2017 assembly polls and won from the Bithri Chainpur constituency of Bareilly. He, however, was denied a ticket in the last assembly polls. Even with his busy schedule as a politician, Mishra decided to advance his education. “I thought that I should start preparing for Class 12 board exams.” Mishra believes that advancing his studies will help him connect better with his younger constituents, but the move has an even bigger purpose.
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“As an MLA I realised that a large number of people, especially those who are financially weak, don’t get justice because they cannot afford a good lawyer. I wish to study law to help such people. To do so, it was necessary to clear Class 12 boards,” said Mishra. He opted for Arts stream despite having an avid interest in science so that he could become a lawyer.
“I have opted for Hindi, fine arts, Social Studies, Civics and Sociology as my subjects for the board exam. These subjects will help me in studying law too,” he said. As someone with an interest in science, his only complaint with arts subjects is that one has to write a lot. “I study at night from 11 pm to 1 am. Even during day time I find some time to focus on studies,” said Mishra, a father of three grown up kids, who have all completed their graduation.
Like most households with a member appearing for boards or other exam, Mishra too gets special attention from his family. “I am exempted to be present at dining table and served food wherever I am studying. My children keep offering to help me with my study and also give me tips to do better in exams and manage exam stress,” Mishra said with a smile.
He is confident that he will clear the exam and will continue his studies while remaining an active politician. “I focus on my studies without worrying about anything. I even tell the same to young students. Working with focus is the only mantra for success in life,” Mishra said.
(With Agency inputs)