New Delhi: 93-year-old CI Sivasubramanian who was the oldest student at the IGNOU convocation on Monday received his masters’ degree in public administration.
“Family responsibilities kept me from pursuing my passion for studies, but at 87, finally, that opportunity knocked on my door,” said 93-year-old, Sivasubramanian.
His zest for knowledge was praised by HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ who called him a 90-year-old “youngster”.
“After finishing my school in the 1940s, I wanted to go to college but that meant either shifting to Trichy or Chennai. Meanwhile, both my parents fell ill and my relatives advised me against going because I had to take care of them. So, I got a job and started working,” he told PTI.
Despite leaving his education in 12th, Sivasubramanian rose through the ranks in his job and retired as a director from the ministry in 1986 at the age of 58.
He believed not being a graduate became a hindrance to utilize his complete potential. He said: I was offered an opportunity to be part of a programme in the United Nations. But since I was not a graduate, I could not go. During my tenure at the ministry, I even enquired about the correspondence courses available at Delhi University but then I was transferred and could not pursue them.
“My wife was rendered bedridden when I was 87. I used to be by her bedside all through the day and my daughters would also come. One day, her physiotherapist said that he would leave a little early that day as he had to go to IGNOU to collect his form to apply for a course. I asked him to find out whether I could also apply. He found that age is no bar at IGNOU and then I enrolled for the bachelors’ course in public administration even though I told my children, ‘I do not know whether I will be alive long enough to complete it’. After finishing my graduation, I enrolled for the master’s degree”