Adversities can throw you into a deep pit where you can be doomed for life but what this young man has shown the world is simply incredible. While students with all the comfort and familial support fail to crack top-repute examination, a 22-year-old beggar from the streets of Chennai has got the prestigious Cambridge University to enroll him. Amazed? Read on…
Jayavel’s family had to migrate from Nellore after a failed crop left no option of survival in front of them. They came to Chennai where they begged on the streets and solely relied on whatever they got as alms from the strangers. The little money that they got through begging went to her mother who was an alcohol addict.
“We used to sleep on one such pavement. If it would rain, we would try to find other shelter in any nearby shop until the cops came and chased us out of there”
His father had died when Jayavel was a child and he did not get any guidance from the people around him. Each day was full of uncertainty as they did not know if they were going to get any food. There was nothing in the name of possessions and Jayavel wore only one shirt day after another.
Jayavel had surrendered to the state of his life and saw no ray of hope until a couple interested in the life of street dwellers met him. Uma Muthuraman and husband Muthuraman wanted to depict the lives of children who lived on the streets of Chennai. At first, Jayavel was vary of them and did not like them.
“My people actually didn’t like them. We even tried to hurt them as we had so many people approaching us under the pretext of helping. But they only used our name to get government funds”
Something about Jayavel stuck a chord with the couple and they decided that he could be provided with opportunity to shape up his future. If succeeded, he could be presented as a role model to others in his community and will serve as an inspiration to so many destitute.
In 1999, Jayavel’s life took an unexpected turn but he admits that he hated it at first. Uma and Muthuraman took this boy from the streets under their wing and provided him education. “Everyone in the school knew about me and my family. As we used to live right on the corner of the school on the pavement but that didn’t make any difference to me. Though I hated to study in the beginning and only wished to play, my attitude changed as I began to see the difference in life of other people and mine and how Uma and Muthuraman were struggling to educate me,” says Jayavel.
Deeply moved to see the couple’s dedication, Jayavel worked hard and scored good grades in STD 12. Seeing his achievement despite being from underprivileged background, some investors came forward to fund his higher education without any interest.
Amazed at people’s support, Jayavel determined to take admission in one of the world’s most prestigious Cambridge University. He cleared Cambridge University’s entrance examination and got a seat in Glendwr University, Wales, United Kingdom. He got admission in ‘Performance Car Enhancement Technology Engineering’, which deals in enhancing performance of cars and he has headed to Italy.
Blown away by his performance, many more children from the streets are studying and aiming to get into aviation, medicine, engineering etc. Kudos to Jayavel who believed in himself and valued the opportunity he was been given. His breakthrough has become a popular tale on the footpaths of Chennai and young minds have begun to dream, aspire and make them a reality.