SRINAGAR, July 2: When 87 year-old Rup Lal Sudan walked into the examination hall, the young students there could not believe that he would be one among them appearing for the exams.
Sudan is perhaps the oldest man in the country to appear for the BA (Part II) exams of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). The students and invigilators could not hide their joy at seeing the old man bubbling with enthusiasm to pass the examination.
Born in 1925, Sudan completed his matriculation in 1941 and soon got a job in the postal department.After retiring from services in 1983 as post master for Jammu circle, he started his own life insurance marketing services.
Father of three children, two of them doctors, and having eight grandchildren, Sudan started pursuing his higher education after his elder son died in 2007.
“I got excited when I watched my grandchildren studying. I wanted to emulate them and so I decided to join them and pursue my higher education,” said Sudan.
Sudan sought help from a friend working in IGNOU to pursue higher education. “He guided me. I took up sociology as one of my subjects to increase my knowledge,” he said.
Sudan wants to pursue research in sociology after completing his graduation and masters.
“My first target is graduation and then masters. If I am alive I will go for research in this subject,” he said.
He has amazed his family by his devotion to his ambition. “I have a sleep disorder and therefore I study during night. I commute daily by public transport which keeps me fit,” he said.
Sudan’s zeal has made him a kind of poster-boy, from whom people draw inspiration. “I was just passing by when I saw the old man in the hall. It was something which I have never seen in my life. But I was very happy to see a man of his age aiming higher,” said one of the officials.
(The writer is Srinagar-based correspondent of DNA)