A full 55 years after he stopped attending school, Parbat Makwana decided to sit for his class 10 examination. Age was not a bar for the 70-year-old native of Junagadh, Gujarat, who is also the father of seven. Makwana runs a student hostel and is currently the vice-president of the district Congress party.
"Over the years, the study material has changed drastically. It is indeed a challenge to start studying after more than 50 years, but it also feels good to be able to stand at par with my family members," he told TOI.
Makwana said that his 101-year-old mother was his inspiration. "Even though she is illiterate she has knowledge of everything, even more than an educated person might have," he said. His favourite subject is Sanskrit.
"Despite a tight schedule, I made sure to dedicate two hours to study every day," he added. "And I did not feel the need to take up coaching despite taking up studies after so many years. Actually, I run a students' hostel and they showed me the syllabus for class 10. For math exam, students of the hostel taught me sums till 3 am. And I have to live up to their teaching."
The exam secretary for class 10 of Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, BS Panchal, lauded Makwana's efforts. "This sets a great example that there is no age to learning something new, it is just that the person has to be willing to take up challenges," Panchal said, speaking to TOI. "He has also set an example for the youngsters who leave studies half way."
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