Ramakanta Biswas

They say nothing is impossible if we have strong determination and will power, and this has been proved by a 42-year-old man from Bihar's Bhagalpur district.

Kamal Kishore Mandal, a resident of Mundichak in Bhagalpur town, became an Assistant Professor at Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University (TMBU) where he once served as a peon.

Mandal, who has set example for others with this feat, has come a long way and his journey from being a night guard initially to an assistant professor is truly inspiring.

At the age of 23, Mandal took up the job of a night guard at RD & JD College in Munger in 2003, despite being a political science graduate due to financial issue, as per a report in The Times of India.

A month after joining as night guard, he was sent on deputation to the Ambedkar Thought and Social Work (post graduate) department and subsequently his post was changed to peon in 2008.

Mandal said that he saw students attending classes at the university which encouraged him to study further.

“I requested the department to grant me permission to study further which they did. I resumed study and did MA (in Ambedkar Thought and Social Work) in 2009,” The Times of India quoted Mandal as saying.

After completing his MA, Mandal again sought permission to do PhD in 2009, but got the consent in 2012. Subsequently, he got enrolled in PhD in 2013 and was awarded the PhD degree in 2019. 

In the meantime, he also successfully cleared the National Eligibility Test (NET), a test conducted to determine eligibility for lectureship and for award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF).

In 2020, the Bihar State University Service Commission (BSUSC) released a notification for appointment of four assistant professors at TMBU’s Ambedkar Thought and Social Work department. As many as 12 candidates were shortlisted for interview and when the result was announced on May 19, 2022, Mandal was among the four lucky candidates who have been finally selected for the posts.

As per the TOI report, Mandal’s father Gopal Mandal sells tea at a roadside stall to run his family. 

“I never allowed poverty and family problems to come in the way of my study. I attended classes in the morning and duty in the afternoon while I used the night hours to revise the class study,” Mandal who dedicated his success to his department officials and teachers, told TOI.