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Rusticated in 1999, guest lecturer in 2012

The then 17-yr-old is now a scribe; the institute asked him to lecture students on how to weather the setbacks in life

In 1999, a 17-year-old boy was rusticated by his college for being mischievous. Today, 13 years later, the college invited him on its Annual Day to deliver a speech to its students on how one must not get discouraged by setbacks in life and move ahead. So on January 11, Dharmanand Gaikwad, who is now the crime and political bureau chief of Marathi daily Raigad Times, visited his alma mater.

Role Model: Dharmanand Gaikwad, rusticated by his college 13 years ago, is now the crime and political bureau chief of a Marathi daily

"In 1999, I was rusticated from Nerul Vidyamandir Junior College as the management thought I was a mischievous student and a troublemaker," said Gaikwad.

Moving up
Gaikwad claimed he didn't know the reason behind the management taking such a stringent step. "This incident sparked off resolve in me and motivated me to work even harder in life and achieve recognition for myself," he added.

In the same year, Gaikwad took admission in Khopoli Municipal College and later graduated in Arts with first class marks.

Shortly after this, Gaikwad got a job in a Marathi weekly Bharat Patheya and within a fleeting duration became the editor of the publication.

In 2000 he was offered the post of crime and political bureau chief with Vrutt Manas. "The following five years were the golden period of my career as I worked on some of my best stories and won accolades for them. Also, a lot of people started to know me because of my reports," said Gaikwad.

On the top rung
In 2005 came the big break for Gaikwad wherein he was appointed the crime and political bureau chief of Raigad TimesĀ -- the leading Marathi daily in Karjat, where he is currently working. Later in 2008, Gaikwad was given press accreditation by the government on the recommendation of the editors of Vrutt Manas, Mumbai Sandhya and Raigad Times.

Mangesh Sutak, principal of Nerul Vidyamandir, said, "We invited Gaikwad to address our students as we wanted him to tell them how one should not be dampened by adversities in life but pick up the pieces and achieve one's dreams. Gaikwad is definitely a role model for young students, who even after being rusticated from his college did not give up hope, but strove to achieve a respectable place in society for himself."

Recounting the past 11 years, Gaikwad said, "Looking back I feel that being rusticated worked in my favour as it motivated me and set a platform for me to achieve higher goals in life. It feels great to be recalled by the very same college that rusticated you once. I am proud that instead of becoming a wastrel, I achieved success and admiration for myself."

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