A convict’s son has scripted an extraordinary success story by preparing for IIT entrance exams while staying with his father in an 8×8 feet cell in an open jail in Kota for almost two years, because he did not have money for the hostel fee. Peeyush Meena, son of convict Phoolchand, has secured 453 rank (ST Category) in JEE-Advanced results. Open jail rules not only permit family members to stay with the convict but the latter can also go out daily for earning a living. Much against his father’s wishes, Peeyush shifted to the jail in July 2014. “I required Rs 2 lakh, which included coaching and hostel fees. After convincing my relatives and friends for months, I could arrange Rs 1 lakh, which was not enough to cover even the coaching fees,” said Phoolchand, a former government teacher. He tried for a job in private schools to fulfil his son’s IIT dreams. But his being a convict was an obstacle, forcing him to settle for the lowly paid job of a medical store helper.
Recounting his experience in jail, Peeyush said: “Initially, it wasn’t easy to study as an open jail has strict rules.” For instance, lights were turned off in the cells at 11pm. “I used to study in the dim light coming through the window. The room was so small that my father would spend time outside the cell until I completed my target for the day. He could never enter the cell before 4am,” Peeyush said. Elated after his JEE success, Peeyush said: “I never told anyone that I live in prison and that I am the son of a convict. But now, I would tell everyone that my father has done something which has no parallel. My sole aim is to give him a better life after his jail term.” Phoolchand has spent 12 years in jail and has to complete two more years before he can walk out free.
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