For these evergreen PU students, age is just another number

24 Sep

Chandigarh From self-motivation to lack ofeducation at a younger age due to financial constraints, career enhancement, refuge from loneliness to sheer interest in learning – These are some of the keys to the endeavour to pursue education for ‘older’ students – some even senior citizens – at various Panjab University (PU) departments like Law, University Business School (UBS) and Evening Studies.

MA in English, Sociology, Political Science, Police Administration, Punjabi, Journalism, B Ed, Diploma in Hotel Management and now LLB – This is the list of qualifications Ripudaman Savrup Sharma proudly mentions in his resume. Purely driven by self-motivation, this 62-year-old third year student of the Department of Law is pursuing his LLB from the PU.

His small hostel room at University boys hostel no. 1 reflects his pursuit of education. Surrounded by books, Ripudaman believes that these are his only family and friends. “Learning is life-long process and what could be more motivating than being in the company of young people. I have nobody in this world but these books and my writing,” he said. He retired as Punjab Joint Director (Press) in 2007 and has since been staying at the University. His pursuit does not end at LLB; he has already cleared his PhD entrance test and is all set to undertake his research in child criminology.

Ajit Singh Bhola, 56, is working as additional secretary in the Communications Ministry. “Since I joined the services in 1979 in finance while I was a simple post-graduate in English, wherever I used to go for lectures, people would wonder at the mismatch in my qualification and work profile. This was the major reason why I did my MBA (Finance) from IGNOU in 1996,” he revealed.

Some of the ‘older students’ could not pursue higher education earlier due to lack of guidance or financial constraints. Ram Kishore, 54, who is working with Punjab National Bank’s Sector 17 branch, is studying at the PU Department of Law. Before taking the all-India entrance test, he also took coaching. “Being from an agricultural family and due to lack of financial assistance, I could never score well in my exams. But I just managed to get through the admission process and this year I scored 68 per cent marks,” said Ram Kishore. He cherishes the moments when he sits with his two sons who are doing MBA and BTech to study together.

Muneeshwar Joshi, 54, OSD to the PU Vice-Chancellor, has enrolled in the evening management course at UBS. “Due to financial constraints, I have completed all my education while in service. This includes starting from graduation in the PU evening studies department, post-graduation in English as a private candidate, LLM from Kurukshetra University through distance education, PhD in Law and now MBA,” he said.

Satish Kumar Sharma, 51, who works as special secretary to one of the Justices of Punjab and Haryana High Court, has enrolled at the Department of Law. An inspiration to his daughter Naina Isser, who too is pursuing her graduation in Law from the same department, Sharma helps her out in her studies.

“We help each other out in our studies. Though I am a year senior to her, we do share our notes,” he informed. While in service, he completed his graduation and post-graduation in Public Administration from Kurukshetra University in 2006.



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