Not an awful lot is reserved for those marked by ordinary lives, existences that struggle, for the better part of their lives with limited means and not a great deal to rest their heads on. Take the life of a farmer for example, someone whose entire existence is dependant on the nature of monsoon and the agricultural produce where, sometimes even the best of efforts cannot possibly yield guaranteed success. But what becomes special is when the farmer works extensively hard to beat the challenging vagaries of life in a bid to afford his wife and children two square meals a day. And then, one day his son or daughter grow up to do something so special that leaves the struggling commoner with tears of joy, the greatest monsoon of his life! Isn’t it true?
And in what can be described as a somewhat similar real-life occurrence, a farmer’s son has actually gone on to do the unthinkable. In an episode that can be aptly described as life imitating fiction, a poor farmer’s son hailing from Lonar will now make it London and that too, not in the so distant future.
Raju Kendre, an ordinary man hailing from Lonar, a small district known most famously for its lake (of the same name) in Maharashtra will make it to the United Kingdom? The reason? Well, Raju Kendre has won himself the prestigious Cheveling Scholarship, that allows a chosen few to pursue education from a select range of pre-eminent academic institutions in the United Kingdom.
A youngster bagging this honour is almost akin to someone hailing from a struggling background winning a chance to fly around on a world tour!
In what can be sufficiently described as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Raju Kendre of Maharashtra, it’s a dream come true moment for the young 27-year-old Indian common man.
News updates from the revere Free Press Journal happened to shed more light on the fantastic achievement of a man that not many would have thought would grow up into being someone who could pursue his education in the United Kingdom of all places, having nothing less than very limited means:
The scholarship is an International Award program by UK government that offers future leaders from over 160 countries and territories to take up postgraduate study or courses in various universities in the United Kingdom.
Raju has had a long journey — from cancelling his admission in Pune University in 2011, because of financial issues, to winning an international scholarship like Chevening in 2021.
Speaking to FPJ, Raju said, “As a farmer’s son belonging to a nomadic tribe, a first-generation learner from a small village in the Vidarbha region, it is a very proud moment for me.”
An ever-bright mind, Raju Kendre has dedicated his achievement to young students and those struggling but working exceptionally hard to achieve their dreams. He hopes that his journey will motivate them to pursue the path to their dreams and their fulfilment.
Well, one the Bollywood screen too, there was a Raju, played by Shah Rukh Khan once upon a time, opposite Juhi Chawla, but this real life Raju has certainly become a gentleman, it must be said in no uncertain terms. What a remarkable story indeed, right?