INDIA. Tumsar, Maharashtra. A Police Sub-Inspector (PSI) by profession, Arvind Jagne is an example of how determination and finding a mentor can transform a life. From an aimless youth to becoming a PSI, Arvind’s life is an inspiration for many.
Childhood struggles. Education was the lowest priority for Arvind’s family who struggled daily just to provide food. Arvind’s mother supported her husband by making bidis (rolled leaf cigarettes). His father used to bring blank pages from torn registers that Arvind used to make notes for school. By 6th standard on, he realized that his parents were finding it difficult to sustain, so he began to do menial work for 5 rupees per day (one-sixth of a dollar). In an interview with Transcontinental Times, he said, “That was a very difficult time for me. If God exists, he shouldn’t put somebody in that situation.”
Academic failures and poverty lead to lost ambition. He managed to finish his coursework, but he failed to clear examinations three consecutive times, and his family could not afford individual tutoring. But on the fourth time, he finally cleared the exams. He took the admission for intermediate school where he came in contact with desperate and poor boys like himself. Like them, he had no aims in life. He often got involved in street fights and brawls. He became an ill-tempered boy, but managed to clear intermediate school. After this, he found no impetus to continue his studies. He became a vagabond on the streets of Tumsar.
A turning point. Sanjay Kundbhare worked for Indian Railways, and was deeply influenced by Mahatma Jyotiba Phule’s progressive ideologies. Sanjay was committed to uplifting local boys who had passed their intermediate exams but were unemployed. It took nearly a year to convince Arvind to join him, but once he was convinced, Sanjay pushed Arvind to continue his studies. After discharging his duties during the day, Sanjay would teach Arvind for hours in the evening. It wasn’t long before Arvind began to show his hidden talents and Arvind saw his true potential. Sanjay told Transcontinental Times,” Arvind’s anger was his main hurdle. Once he got rid of his anger, he began to concentrate on studies.”
The first triumph. Arvind appeared for the police constable exam in the year 2007. His hard work paid off. He cleared the exam on the first attempt. While appearing for the physical test, he broke his shoulder during the long jump event, but he didn’t lose hope. He appeared again for the written exam in the next year and passed once again. He was then selected as a constable and posted in a small town, Jawahar Nagar.
Constable Jagne takes on local drug mafia. Arvind is most proud of his work in Bhandara. Along with his senior police officer, Arvind Jagne fought a war against the drug mafia. It was a challenging task. He said, “All my first-hand knowledge of criminals’ psyche acquired in the bylanes of Tumsar, helped me to fight effectively”. It took only two years, from 2014 to 2016, to make Bhandara completely drug free. His work brought him accolades from the police department.
Next rung of success. Arvind realized he had an interest in police investigation,, and saw this as an opportunity to advance his career further. His wife encouraged him to take the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exam, which is very rigorous. He studied for 12 to 14 hours every day. Many around him doubted his ability as he was still considered by many to be the vagabond boy of Tumsar, but his friends had confidence in him. He still remembers those difficult times and recalled,” My friends are jewels and they had, at that time, inspired me.” With friends at his side, he cracked the exam at one go. Everybody applauded his effort, and he soon got posted as a PSI in Chandrapur district.
His journey from bylanes to Police Sub-Inspector was a dream come true for him. While recollecting the journey he said to Transcontinental Times, “I want to follow the same pious task done by my mentor Sanjay Kundbhare. I want to help under-privileged boys so that they can also soar the sky.”