Now a doctoral student at the UoH, Ramana has always refused to be pinned down by crises. He will now present a paper at Oxford University

While there is no dearth of stories that exemplify the strength of the human spirit, of that irrepressible drive to make it beyond all odds, this one is definitely is a stand-out. From being a shepherd and a child who missed school often, to presenting a research paper at the prestigious Oxford University, life has been an unbelievable dream journey for C.V. Ramana.

Spark within

For this doctoral scholar from the University of Hyderabad, who hails from a small village in Chittoor district, the trigger for his achievements were the repeated instances of humiliation he faced from landlords of his village and the injustice meted out to his family from his own caste chieftains. Education, he thought, and has ever since proved, would be the liberator. He credits The Hindu for being an able enabler.

At Oxford, Ramana will present a paper titled ‘Higher Education as Capability in Enhancing Opportunities: A Study on Fee Reimbursement Policy in Andhra Pradesh, India’.

Story of struggle

As a ten-year-old, Ramana was forced to drop out of school and raise sheep in his village Bathalavari Palli. When a landlord, and later legal hurdles, denied his family the rights to purchase assigned land, he resolved to make it big in life.

Amid financial crises, Ramana completed Class 10 and Intermediate through the National Open School after a few failed attempts. The renewed confidence led him to completing graduation from the Government Degree College in Piler, Chittoor.

English embarrasses

“Gaining admission to the University of Hyderabad for my post graduation and accessing The Hindu changed the course of my life,” he reveals. With a background in the Telugu medium of education, Ramana said he scored a blank in his first semester exams.

“Realising the need to improve English language skills, I took up reading The Hindu in the hostel and the passion for English just multiplied,” says Ramana, who also attributes his success to Internet access.

In fact, he made friends only with students from Nagaland so that he had no option but to speak in English. He completed his M. Phil in a year. For his Ph.D., he chose a topic close to his heart – the fee reimbursement scheme.

“Since I am a beneficiary of such schemes from the University Grants Commission, I chose it and my guide Prof. Ramabrahmam encouraged my idea. Our society needs such schemes,” Ramana feels.

After his presentation at Oxford, Ramana will be travelling to Harvard in May where he will speak on “Significance of Scholarships in Segregated Societies: New Directions in Indian Welfare Policies.” He had earlier presented a paper at Berlin, Germany.

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