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‘Grandpa heads to school after wife passes away’

OLDAGE

Khatmandu: Durga Kami at 68 is probably Nepal’s oldest school student. Poverty prevented Kami from finishing his studies as a child and achieving his goal of becoming a teacher. Now 68, the father of six and grandfather of eight goes to school six days a week, to complete his studies and escape a lonely home life following the death of his wife.

A teacher at the school, DR Koirala, invited Kami to go back to school, providing him with stationery and a school uniform including grey trousers, blue striped tie and white shirt. Koirala said “This is my first experience teaching a person who is as senior as my father’s age. I feel very excited and happy.”

The 20 children in his class have dubbed Kami “Baa”, which means “father” in Nepali, but despite his age their elderly classmate joins in all activities, including volleyball in the playground. Kami’s scholarship does not stretch to cover food, though, meaning his breakfast – a dish of rice with a fermented green vegetable known as gundruk –must sustain him until dinner.

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